The highbrow Rockview Hotel, Owerri, Imo State came alive on Saturday, November 19, 2022 when the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Imo Branch held its Dinner/Award Night.

Top of the prominent indigenes of the state who bagged awards at the ceremony was the Accountant-General of the state, Linus Okafor.

Others were Dr. Ken Opara, the 22nd President of the Chartered Institute of Nigeria; Mr. Oliver Alawuba, the GMD/CEO of UBA; and Engr. Michael Arimanwa, the Rector, Federal Polytechnic Nekede.

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The rest were Dr. Doris Nkeiruka Uzoka Anite, Imo State Commissioner for Finance, Imo State; Mr. Innocent Ike, former MD Polaris Bank; Mr. Stanley Amuchie, Executive Director of Fidelity Bank and Mr. Raymond Ahumibe, Regional Director of UBA.

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In his welcome address, the Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Imo State Branch, Rogers Nwoke said the awards were in recognition of the recipients for excelling in their different professions.

 He revealed that the branch could not hold the dinner/awards night in the last two years owing to the disruptions and devastations caused by the global pandemic, COVID-19.

He further disclosed that the event started with a novelty football match among banks in Imo State, pointing out that Zenith Bank emerged the winner of the competition. 

Nwoke appealed to the state government and banks to sponsor the banker’s league.

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An award recipient and Accountant-General of the state, Linus Okafor delivered a lecture entitled; “Building Resilience for Economic Growth in a challenged Economy: The Agricultural Finance option”.

Okafor identified policy inconsistency, indiscipline, unemployment, crime, infrastructural decay, brain drain and anger as some of the ills of a challenged economy.

He advised that something should be done to correct these anomalies if Nigeria economy should be improved, warning that these are ill-winds that do not favour the economy.

He said that the nation should do everything to diversify the economy by investing heavily on agricultural sector, regretting that agriculture which was the mainstay of the Nigerian economy in the past was allowed to be relegated to the background due to the advent of crude oil.

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He revealed that from the contemporary developments, oil money will soon fade away with the introduction of electric cars by the Westerners that will see to the phasing away of cars that use fossil fuel. 

He however suggested agricultural financing, crowd-funding, funding from commercial banks, government sources, private sector and development partners as some of the sources of generating funding for agriculture in the country.

He called on banks to develop interest in agriculture and agricultural developments. 


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