*We look forward to NASS to pass our Bill
*Accreditation and curriculum development is key – Obapetu
Agreed, risk management practice is seemingly at its rudimentary stage but within the last couple of years now, we have moved to the mainstream in Nigeria now.
President of the Risk Management Association of Nigeria (RIMAN), Mr. Jude Monye, disclosed to www.gongnews.net in an interview in Abuja saying, “although, there is noticeable improvement in risk management practices across the banks
particularly following the CBN intervention in 2009 and the subsequent reform measures, risk management practice in the Nigerian financial services industry is still at a rudimentary stage beset by a number of challenges, chief among which is the acute dearth of knowledgeable and skilled risk professionals, particularly at senior level”, said Jude Monye.
He spoke against the background of the fact that “the importance of Risk Management.
“Much of the available risk experts appear to be concentrated in certain banks, yet even in these institutions, those with risk experience may not be fully involved in major strategic decisions. This is further exacerbated by the pervasive poor knowledge of risk management by members of the board- of many banks as revealed by the result of the diagnostic study commissioned by the CBN in the wake of the banking sector crisis in 2009.
In hindsight, Monye, who is an Executive Director in Heritage Bank said, “We look forward to the National Assembly backing our activities up with a Bill. Every planning and budget plot is supposed to be exposed to risk management analysis. Many people in business and government apparently do not appreciate the nexus between their business strategies and risk appetite and their implication for risk management within the organisation.
Asked what has been the biggest challenges of his team at RIMAN, Monye said, “I think it is better I speak on the global than on the little frame we found ourselves. Dearth of formal training institutions offering risk management curriculum is a fundamental challenge. It is generally observed for instance, that some risk management practitioners do not possess the requisite formal qualification and technical depth, but merely became risk managers “on the fly”.
He said one of the strategies that could be adopted to address this problem of capacity gap in the practice of risk management in Nigeria is to professionalise risk management education in Nigeria through the development of qualification and certification programmes by registered professional bodies and training providers such as RIMAN and Credit Risk Management Association of Nigeria (CRIMAN).
Kayode Obapetu, a University of Lagos lecturer in his opinion said, “considering the identified skills and capacity gaps and the paramount importance of having in place a sufficient pool of skilled talents and risk professionals to drive and support effective risk management in financial institutions, significant attention should be given to the following suggested strategies;
“Establish of an accreditation and assessment system for risk management training providers in the financial services industry.
“The Human Resources departments of individual institutions should create an on-going programme to increase the knowledge and understanding of risk throughout the organisation, addressing issues such as risk identification, risk types, risk analysis and measurement, market and economic influences and impact, compliance roles and responsibilities, and lessons from past banking and financial crises.” “Financial institutions should integrate knowledge management as part of their capacity development initiatives through continuous research, documentation and preservation of risk management best practices and the many organizational and industry lessons learnt from various crises.
“Develop a holistic competency framework that addresses critical competency gaps among bankers and supports the development of risk management professionals in the financial services industry.