Executives of some of the largest commercial banks in African have expressed their thoughts on the Nigerian project and the country’s economy during a virtual event organized by the THISDAY ARISE group commemorating Nigeria’s 60th anniversary.
The Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank, one of Nigeria’s biggest banks by customer base and pan-African expansion, Herbert Wigwe, said during the event Nigerians should stay united and be patriotic.
“I think it is a time for us to reflect on our national unity, security and a day for all of us as Nigerians to make a full commitment to ourselves that we will work together and make our country the greatest country in the continent.
“I think we have come a long way. Nigerians have succeeded in several fields of human endeavour but there is so much more work to be done because it is only when we start to think of Nigeria first, in everything each and every one of us does, that we can enhance the full opportunity of the human and natural resources that we are so well endowed with.”
The Access Bank boss said he is working hard with his team at the bank to position Nigeria on the world map, as far as financial services are concerned.
This week Access Bank announced plans to restructure into a holding company, and consolidate operations in Mozambique and South Africa, looking to benefit from the new intra-African trade due to start January 1, 2021.
Speaking on wider issues about Nigeria 60 years after independence, the Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Jim Ovia, said there has been improvement in school enrolment.
Ovia also pointed out how Nigerians have excelled in other areas of human endeavour like sports, entertainment, finance and in journalism, and again in the academia.
He congratulated Nigerians who have struggled through difficult challenges to grow the country’s entrepreneurship businesses to the extent where Nigeria is now the largest economy in Africa with slightly over $400 billion in GDP.
Meanwhile according to the Managing Director/CEO of Guaranty Trust Bank, Segun Agbaje, the future of Nigeria is bright because of its vibrant population, which he described as the nation’s greatest asset.
Agbaje said that Nigerian youths who are 60 per cent of the country’s population were beginning to dominate industries in which they operate like fashion, music and film.
The six-hour global virtual commemoration featured leading performers, fashion from top designers and speeches from icons, statesmen and global leaders.