Experts at the National Conference of Educators in Banking and Finance jointly organised by the National Universities Commission (NUC) and the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Nigeria call for the review of the curriculum for banking and finance education to make it more functional and meet the demands of the society.
At the Conference organised to improve the quality of banking and finance education in Nigeria, the Supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike said the platform would enable educators to exchange ideas and develop strategies that would entrench effective banking and finance education in Nigeria.
Wike, who was represented at the event by the Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof. Julius Okojie, said that the conference would enhance banking and finance education sub-sector.
“The conference will give educators platform for exchange of ideas and will equally help develop strategies to achieve the desired improvement in the banking and finance education sub-sector,’’ he said.
In his remarks, Okojie stressed the need to re-structure university programmes and develop students in core subject areas.
The Executive Secretary also expressed worry over the absorption of non professionals into the banking industry.
“The National Universities Commission as a regulator as been concerned about the banking and finance and business administration.
“We are worried about banks recruiting good first class students from the Universities and giving them targets to meet.
“The fact that a young graduate is asked to get an account of N2 billion to build the capital base of a bank is worrisome because that is the only reason they are offered the employment.
“This also means the banks have no future plan for them or even willing to train them and have no need for professionals.
“Any one who has not gone to school can equally provide N2 billion and so we are warning that this practice portends danger for the industry and also our graduates,’’ he said.
He said the Commission would continue to interact with Professional bodies to ensure that quality was attained in all university programmes.
“The conference is therefore aimed at ensuring balance in the study and practice of banking and financial systems in Nigeria” Okojie stated.
Also speaking at the conference, the President and Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Nigeria, Otunba Debola Osibogun, said 24 million jobs were needed annually to bridge the unemployment gap in Nigeria.
Osibogun said the Conference, with the theme: “Banking and finance education in Nigeria: the 21st Century Perspective, was as there was a short fall in competent manpower to drive the needed change in the economic sector.
“This is the reason why this conference was jointly organised by the NUC and the CIBN to pull the gown and the town together and to ensure that the quality of graduates from our universities and Polytechnics meet the demand of the financial industry,’’ Osibogun said.
The Keynote Speaker, Dr Celestina Njoku, Rector, Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Imo State, advised the stakeholders to adopt curriculum that would accommodate local content. (Leadership)