THE President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Dr Bayo Olugbemi, has advised the Federal Government to deregulate the economy fully and build modular refineries to address the issue of growing fuel subsidy.
Olugbemi said this in Ibadan on the sidelines of the inauguration of the CIBN Bankers Hall built by the institute at The Polytechnic Ibadan.
The CIBN president blamed the nation’s economic problems on its dependence on crude oil for revenue generation.
He advised that the economy should be diversified to protect it from the impact of the price of the commodity in the international market
Olugbemi said, “It’s not only the Nigerian economy that is in turmoil, COVID-19 is just abating but Nigeria is worst-hit because of our mono-economy. We have one major revenue earner which is petroleum products. As you know, because of the war between Russia and Ukraine, the price of oil is going up and that is what is affecting the price of refined petroleum products.
“But unfortunately, we are not refining crude oil here in Nigeria, we only import and that is why the government is now paying to subsidize the price of petrol.
“For me, as an economist, as a banker as a financial expert, the best thing to do is to diversify the economy and deregulate. There should not be anything called a subsidy. At the end of the day, this subsidy does not percolate to you and I. The people at the top are the ones enjoying it.
“Government has no business doing what they are doing. The number one thing to do is to deregulate the economy fully and ensure that refineries- modular ones are working.
“Thank God for Dangote that is building a refinery, if that is completed, we believe the issue of subsidy will be removed totally and in the long run, that is the best.”
The CIBN president advised bankers on honesty and strict adherence to the ethics of the banking profession to always have the confidence of members of the public.
He said, “The institute as the conscience and moral compass of the banking and finance industry is resolute and committed to the observance and maintenance of ethics and professionalism among practitioners in the industry
“May I, therefore, use this medium to call on all practitioners in the banking industry to remain steadfast to the ethos of the profession and maintain the tenets of trust and honesty, which is the hallmark of our profession.
“Our word must be our bond, so we can command the respect of the banking populace and ultimately attract the unbanked whilst deepening financial inclusion.”
Speaking on the hall donated to the polytechnic by the CIBN, Olugbemi said it was part of the Five Point Agenda he introduced when he became the president of the institute.
The Chairman, Governing Council of the polytechnic, Prof.Kunle Akinyemi, who was represented by a member of the council who is also a wife of the Alaafin of Oyo, Olori Folasade Adeyemi, assured the institute that the school would maintain the hall and make sure it is always kept in good condition.
The Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Lekan Balogun, who was represented by the Ekerin Balogun of Ibadan, High Chief, Olubunmi Isioye, also lauded the institute for the gesture while urging other corporate bodies to emulate CIBN.