Introduction Today is the day the Lord has made. Glory be to His holy name. He has made everything to be beautiful in His time. It is indeed with great gratitude for His mercies that I stand before you all today on behalf of all the newly elected Office Holders and members of the Governing Council as the 22nd President/ Chairman of Council of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN). I would like to sincerely appreciate our Past Presidents for all their efforts and roles in ensuring that the Institute remains a foremost Professional body to be reckoned with. It is also important that I recognize and acknowledge our members and all those who have served on the Governing council at various times for their selfless services

STRATEGIC FOCUS Today, we are stepping into a new era in the annals of our Institute. A philosopher and former Chief of Staff at the White House USA, Rahm Emanuel, once said and I quote "Never let a serious crisis go to waste, it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before." And the Bible in the book of Ecclesiastes 3 vs 1 says “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven”. This season presents an auspicious moment for us as an Institute to take on audacious projects that would transform and propel our Institute into global limelight, if we dare to take the giant steps.

No doubt, we have recorded many successes in time past, especially in the last few years. But one thing we cannot do is to stand still and bask in this euphoria. We must move forward quickly into new, uncharted and exciting territories and claim ownership of it before anyone else. We must step into the Next Normal and position ourselves ahead of the curve. Michael Jordan, an American legend considered to be one of the best basketball players ever, said and I quote "Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships". Ken Blanchard, the renowned author of The One Minute Manager, once asserted that “None of us is as smart as all of us". From these assertions, it is evidently clear that to achieve our big dreams and capture territories, we must as a matter of necessity work together as A -TEAM. Distinguished members of our great Institute, this is the time for us to arise and work together as A-TEAM towards the upliftment of our Institute, our industry and our nation at large. As J.F. Kennedy rightly puts it “if we are strong our strength will speak for itself, if we are weak words will be of no help”.

Esteemed audience, in the light of the foregoing and having considered our current realities, the strategic focus of this administration has been crafted into the acronym, “A-TEAM”. Franklin Roosevelt once admonished that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. This is the time to dream big dreams and strive to translate our dreams into reality. Our desire is to be a global reference point, an Institute that everyone is proud to associate with, one that sets the agenda for the banking industry, for businesses and the economy as a whole. An Institute that bankers from the rest of Africa and beyond will scramble to associate with and always to be rated as excellent.

To achieve this feat, we would pursue creative and innovative ideas and welcome inputs from all and sundry. Meanwhile, we would commence the journey with the following initiatives encapsulated in the acronym A- TEAM: • A = Accelerated Development • T = Technology and Digital Enhancement • E = Engagement for Growth • A = Accountability and Transparent Leadership • M = Membership Drive for Value Permit me to mention that these initiatives will be executed in congruence with our Corporate Strategic Plan (2020 – 2024)