Dr Akinwumi Adesina, the President of African Development Bank (AfDB), on Saturday urged leaders in the banking sector to provide “audacious leadership” to navigate challenges of COVID-19 pandemic and restore hope and confidence in Africa.
Adesina gave the charge at the 2020 Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Fellowship Investiture with the theme, “Financial Services in a Post-COVID-19 Environment: Strategic Imperatives”.
The event, held in Lagos and also attended virtually, saw several leaders in the banking sector in the country and other African countries conferred with awards as Honorary Fellows, Elected Fellows and Honorary Senior Members.
Adesina, who expressed delight at the awards, said: “Today, as we are being honoured, consider us as security-backed assets. Our integrity is our honour, and our honour is our security.
“We wish to express to the Council of the CIBN, our commitment to carry these awards with dignity, integrity and honour.
“Leadership from each one of us is needed in these challenging times of the Coronavirus pandemic.”
The AfDB president charged leaders to work to grow back the country and make the continent safer, healthier; all with greater resilience.
Adesina stressed that honorary awards were deposits of trust which came with great responsibilities of selfless work, being exemplary and role models in the profession and the society.
“Now, let us arise and collectively support Nigeria to recover and build back, stronger, better, with greater economic resilience. Let’s join hands and deliver greater prosperity and hope for Nigeria.
“For Nigeria to be at its best, it deserves the best from all of us.
“As Honorary Fellows, we promise to continue to be beacons of hope, carrying with dignity, the green and gold emblems of the CIBN,” he said.
Adesina noted the challenges which the COVID-19 pandemic brought upon on African and global economies and development.
He, however, reiterated the contributions of the AfDB to ease the effects of the pandemic.
He pledged the bank’s readiness to support African countries, financial institutions and the private sector to accelerate Africa’s economic growth.