Your Excellency, Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State, Mr. Ernest Ebi, Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Bayo Olugbemi, FCIB, the President and Chairman of the Council of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Mr. Seye Awojobi, FCIB, the Registrar of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Mr. Kunle Elebute, Guest Speaker, Members of Council of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Honorees, Investees, distinguished ladies and gentlemen.
Good afternoon to you all. What a great event, so extremely well organized. That’s the Nigerian gold standard!
It’s such a great honor to be here today, virtually, along with all my co-awardees, to be decorated with the emblems of admission and recognition as Honorary Fellows of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.
I would like on behalf of all the awardees to express our deepest gratitude and appreciation to the President and Chairman of Council, Mr. Bayo Olugbemi, the Registrar and Chief Executive, Mr. ‘Seye Awojobi and the entire members of the Council of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, for this great recognition and honor you have bestowed on us.
It is such a memorable occasion to be recognized as Honorary Fellows by such an eminent and revered institution, the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.
I am very proud of each of my co-Honorees for your many years of leadership and distinguished contributions to the banking profession.
No one should ever work to be recognized. But when efforts and contributions are recognized, it inspires one to continue to work even harder.
Honorary awards are deposits of trust. They come with great responsibility. Responsibility to be exemplary, to work selflessly, and to be role models in the profession and for the society.
Today, as we are being honored, consider us as “security-backed assets”. Our integrity is our honor, and our honor is our security.
We wish to express to the Council of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria our commitment to carry these awards with dignity, integrity and honor.
Leadership from each one of us is needed in these challenging times of the coronavirus pandemic.
So many lives have been lost. Economies have been devastated. Africa’s economic growth this year will decline by 3.4%. Globally, economies have gone into recession, as global trade, financial flows, investments, tourism and global supply chains have been disrupted. Millions of jobs have been lost. Consumer demand and business investments have declined. With huge fiscal stimulus packages, interest rates are at all-time lows.
These are tough times for Bankers.
Yet, we must be bold, resilient and weather the storm.
The African Development Bank launched a $10 billion crisis response facility to provide immediate liquidity for countries to meet urgent financing needs.
The Bank also launched a $3 billion fight COVID19 social bond on global capital markets, the largest US dollar denominated social bond ever in world history, which is now listed on the London Stock Exchange, Luxembourg stock exchange and on Nasdaq.
I am delighted that despite the very challenging times, the African Development Bank maintained its triple-A ratings, with stable outlook, by all major global credit rating agencies, Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s and Fitch Ratings.
The African Development Bank has maintained its stellar triple-A ratings for five years in a row since I was first elected President in 2015.
The African Development Bank also achieved an increase in its capital from $93 billion to $208 billion, the largest ever capital increase in the history of the Bank since its establishment in 1964.
The African Development Bank therefore stands ready to strongly support African countries, financial institutions and the private sector to accelerate Africa’s economic growth.
Times like this need audacious leadership.
Leadership that is able to navigate complexities and restore hope and confidence, to grow back, safer, healthier and with greater resilience.
That is the kind of leadership I see among the Honorary Fellows and Awardees and the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.
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 Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.
I wish to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy Christmas ahead and a prosperous and healthier New Year 2021.
Stay safe, stay well and stay healthy.
Once again, thank you very much. God bless you all.