FITC and board leadership development for banks and other financial institutions

13 Oct 2017
Financial Institutions Training Centre


Safe and sound financial system as we know, is dependent on the quality of corporate governance practices, which in turn depends on the quality of the board of directors and their ability to discharge their responsibilities honourably -- Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria.

CBN governor Godwin Emefiele speaking at the CBN-FITC 2017 Continuous Education Programme for Directors of Banks and Other Financial Institutions

Since the inception of its Continuous Education Programme (CEP) for directors of banks and other financial institutions in 1985, the Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC) has trained over 6,638 directors. More than 85% of the participants at its programmes have come from the banking industry. The various initiatives and platforms that delivered the total participation include:

- The FITC/CBN Continuous Education Programme for Directors of Banks and Other Financial Institutions (since 2006).

- FITC’s International Programme for Directors of Banks and Other Financial Institutions (since 2008).

- FITC/CBN-OFISD (Other Financial Institutions and Supervision Department) Training Workshop for Directors of Micro Finance Banks.

- FITC/MBAN (Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria) Annual CEP for Directors of Mortgage Banks (since 2008).

- FITC/IFC-GCGF (Global Corporate Governance Forum) Corporate Governance Board Leadership Programme (since 2011).

- FITC’s corporate governance advocacy roles resulting in the establishment of the Bank Directors Association of Nigeria (BDAN) from the 1996 edition of the CEP, which FITC actively supports to date.

- FITC Corporate Governance Advisory Services, offering board evaluation, design and review of board charters, and board procedures design.

The 2017 edition of the CBN-FITC CEP for Directors of Banks and Other Financial Institutions held on the 19th and 20th September, at Four Points By Sheraton, Victoria Island, Lagos. This year’s theme was “The Next Level of Corporate Governance Practice.’’

The participants comprised 59 directors from 18 institutions, including commercial banks, mortgage banks, and development finance institutions. The participants were Board Chairs, Managing Directors, Non-Executive Directors, Executive Directors, and a Company Secretary.

The programme had in attendance the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, CFR; and Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, CBN, and Chairman of FITC, Dr. Okwu Joseph Nnanna, who respectively delivered the keynote address and opening remarks.

Their addresses highlighted how to protect the corporate governance framework in banks and other financial institutions; enforce tough sanctions on erring directors, particularly on insider credits; protect strong corporate practices, in particular the role of the independent director on the board; and move the existing corporate governance regime to the next level in the financial services sector and the country in general.

The CBN Governor lauded FITC for its sustained drive in promoting good governance practices. According to him, the programme has over the years served as a valuable platform for the exchange of ideas and that the recommendations from the programmes have further assisted in the development of the Nigerian financial services sector.

The workshop afforded participants the opportunity to discuss salient and practical issues with regard to Board effectiveness. It also stimulated ideas on other critical issues for improved accountability, transparency and sustainable value-creation by the Boards. Sessions were facilitated by key subject-matter experts, including Ansie Ramalho, Senior Consultant, International Finance Corporation; Kehinde Johnson, Managing Partner, Rosebank Consulting; Ahmad Abdullahi, Director, Banking Supervision, Central Bank of Nigeria; and Adedapo Adeleke, Director, Bank Examination, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation.

The Managing Director/CEO, FITC, Dr. Lucy Surhyel Newman encouraged participants to leverage insights that emerged from the sessions, to take their institutions to the next level of corporate governance. She assured the participants of FITC’s continued support for continued improvement in practices, and urged them to see corporate governance as a journey and not a destination.

As a final task on the programme, the participants broke out into brainstorming sessions and deliberated extensively on the following:

- How Boards can improve the level of corporate governance in their banks to ensure financial stability.

- How independent directors can be supported to enhance their performance and add value to their organizations.

- How Boards can navigate various expectations from investors and regulators, while managing environmental and social risks to deliver value for stakeholders.

- How regulators, Boards and individual directors can minimise the increasing incidence of insider-related credits and non-performing loans.

Specific findings and recommendations from this edition of the CBN-FITC CEP will be communicated directly to regulators and operators within the banking and finance industry. It will also be published, as has been the practice from 1985 to date.
FITC is convinced that its structured and customized approach to directors' education will continue to enhance the culture of professionalism, ethics and transparency in the financial services sector in Nigeria. And through its membership of the African Corporate Governance Network, FITC hopes to continue to help enhance corporate governance practices in the West African sub-region, and broaden its impacts throughout Sub Saharan Africa.

Contributed by FITC

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