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90-day savings dominate banking sector deposits —Diamond Bank MD

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Alex Otti

Alex Otti


Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Diamond Bank Plc, Dr  Alex Otti, has lamented the dominance of short-term savings deposit base of the Nigerian banking system, saying that the situation hampers long-term lending for infrastructural development.

According to him, most borrowers ask for five to 10-year money when they hardly make deposits that exceed 90 days. As such, banks are constrained in lending for long-term, as no one gives out what he or she doesn’t have.

Speaking as a panelist at the 11th Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL), leadership without title tribute series in honour of Chief Olasubomi Balogun, at 80, on Wednesday, Otti  said Nigerian economy is a short-term economy.

He asked: “who has deposit in any bank today that is more than 90 days? Somebody comes to me and says I want five-year money. Did you give me five-year money?”

The founder of CVL and host of the occasion, Professor Pat Utomi, said  Balogun was being honoured for his pioneering work in building enterprise in the banking sector that has become among the most modern in the Nigerian economy to be dominated by indigenous entrepreneurs.

According to Utomi, CVL decided to use the can-do spirit and experience of Balogun to teach young people that “if you can dream it, you can make it happen.”

“It is important to state here that the leadership without title tribute series is proud to identify an aspect of the life’s journey of the subject of tribute series to use as example for the generation next.

“In the example from the career of tribute target, we excise a topic for the colloquium, which is the vehicle for conveying learning to young people,” Utomi explained.

It is, he further stated, because Balogun dared in the 1970s that the Fola Adeolas, Elumelus and Ovias could dare a generation after; especially at a time when high unemployment raises the imperative of growing entrepreneurs, as the great issue of now.

The theme of this series according to Utomi is :”Interrogating the spirit of enterprise in financial services.

Speaking on the hounour being given to him, Otunba Balogun, who is the founding chairman of First City Monument Bank (FCMB), said he was overwhelmed by the gesture being extended to him by CVL. He narrated the abridged story of the process that led to the establishment of Icon stockbrokers limited (Merchant Bankers) and wants the younger generation to know that  there is a skill in everyone that needed development and that “with God, all things are possible.”

Notable panelists at the Colloquium includes: Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) founding Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Fola Adeola, Group Managing Director/ CEO Diamond Bank Plc Mr. Alex Otti and Lagos Chamber of Commerce Director General, Muda Yusuf. Other Panellists, includes Canada based Economist and former Banker Fred Olaleye and management consultant Eileen Shaiyen who spent a good part of her career in banking as well as Professor Doyin Soyibo.

-Culled from Tribune

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