The immediate past Deputy Governor (Operations), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Tunde Lemo, has advised bankers in the country to always stick to the ethics of the profession.
Lemo, who said this in an interview with journalists at a send forth dinner organised for him by the CBN in Lagos, also stressed the need for banks not to maximise profit to the detriment of their customers.
According to him, banking should be based on trust.
He said: â€œWhen you are a banker, it is a position of trust and the public expects so much from you. It is not just for you to be honest, you must be seen to be honest and you must always bear in mind that the interest of the customers and the people you serve is important, much more important than the profit because it is only when they are there, that your bank can be stronger.
â€œBut if you conduct banking in such a way that you maximise profit to the detriment of customers, when their businesses go down, it will only take time before your own business will go down.â€
To this end, he stressed then need for banks to ensure that they support their customers and the business community so that they can grow in leaps and bounds.
He insisted that the central bank has played a key role in the development of the economy, citing the recent privatisation of the power assets as an example.
According to him, the banks were able to contribute to the power sector reforms as a result of the reforms in the sector.
â€œFor the first time in the history of Nigeria, we saw Nigerian banks playing a key role in a major reform of that nature. It was because of the central bank policy that ensured that the banks are not only big, but strong,â€ he added.
Furthermore, he opined that with the anticipated rebasing of the countryâ€™s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), it would become the biggest economy in Africa.
Continuing, Lemo said: â€œNow we have been identified among the MINT economies and we are also on the march to 20:2020, a lot of the responsibilities rest on the central bankâ€™s shoulders. We expect the public to support the central bank.â€
The CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi; Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Zenith Bank, Mr. Godwin Emefiele; and his counterpart at Union Bank, Mr. Emeka Emuwa, all commended Lemo for his contribution to the growth of the banking industry.