Finance experts have charged financial institutions in the country to prioritise customers’ satisfaction at the expense of profit.
The experts who spoke at the ‘2022 Economic Outlook’ forum held recently, say banks must charge their energy on supporting their customers with financial solutions that will have a trickledown effect on the nation’s economy.
At the forum, the managing director and chief executive of First Bank of Nigeria, Dr Adesola Adeduntan charged financial institutions to go beyond making profits but rather focus on growing the wealth of its customers and the country’s economy at large. Adeduntan said banks and financial institutions need to realise that they can only grow when their customers are excelling.
“Our role is not just about making money or focusing on ourselves. It is about helping the country itself to grow the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). That way we believe our clients can grow and thrive and we ourselves can grow and thrive and that is the reason why we have been here for 127 years,” he pointed out.
He said FirstBank is always very excited about the country, adding that, “we are woven into the fabric of this society and that is because from inception FirstBank has always seen our role not just from profits perspective. We have always seen our role as that of a nation builder and that is the reason we have thrived and we have excelled.”
Giving an insight into the Nigerian economy in 2022, chief executive of RTC Advisory Services Limited, Opeyemi Agbaje said, Nigeria would not achieve growth in 2022 with inflation on the rise.
To him, there is incoherence around monetary policies like interest and exchange rates, noting that, everything seems to be going in the wrong direction as the country is not focused on the fundamentals.
growth and investment flowing in again and our policy environment stable, then inflation can come down,” he said.
On his part, the managing director of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Bismarck Rewane, noted that, the country in its present state, does not need higher taxes and should work on curbing high unemployment and low output, which he said could be disastrous for the country.
Stressing that Nigeria was still the country with the fourth highest unemployment rate in Africa at 33.3 per cent, with a misery index of 50.41 per cent, he added that, inflation had affected consumers’ purchasing power and 93.9 million people were still in the threshold of poverty.