Heritage Bank, RIMAN, FDC enjoin firms to embrace modern risk mgt. practices

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Heritage Bank Plc, Risk Managers Association of Nigeria (RIMAN) and Financial Derivatives Company Limited have called on corporate organizations to adopt systemic and cultural changes to embed risk management into their organisations in a bid to manage uncertainties that may arise at any given time.

At the 17th Annual Conference organized by RIMAN in partnership with Heritage Bank Plc was attended by eminent personalities which included His Royal Highness, the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu and his council of chiefs and Professor Segun Ajibola, President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) among others.

CEO of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Mr. Bismarck Rewane stated this in a keynote address, remarking that risk advantage is the ability to systematically manage the uncertainty inherent in any given strategic position in order to generate an attractive return with less risk.

He said the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) risk advantage framework could be used to establish competitive strength in an age of uncertainty and that the components of the framework are expansive, anticipation, discipline and resilience.

He remarked that regular scenario planning helped to establish expansive anticipation and also hold managers accountable for factoring risk and uncertainty into their planning.

Rewane whose keynote address was titled: Risk Management for Economic Development and Revenue Diversification also enjoined them to take into account risks taken when reviewing the results achieved because linking risk to human resources and corporate governance builds resilience.

The keynote speaker who looked at risk from a multidimensional perspective but mainly from a policy maker perspective noted that the business cycle is a natural economic phenomenon of boom to slowdown to bust.

Quoting Matthew Bishop, Rewane defined risk as the chance or probability that things not turning out as expected, adding that risk taking lies in the heart of capitalism and is responsible for a large part of economic growth.

Other definitions of risk he proffered are: profit is the reward for risk taking; risk management is the process of bearing the risk of tolerance and minimizing the risk one does not want and risk is also hedging, diversification and buying insurance.

He remarked that economies were vulnerable to both exogenous and domestic shocks s as they go through business cycles, noting that in the last 100 years, there have been no less than 14 recessions, one depression in 1929 and at least two times when economic, financial and market crisis happened. Rewane noted that a stress test of the Nigerian banking industry presently would measure exposure to oil and gas (N1.62 trillion), telecoms (N673 billion) and power (N306 billion) which showed the industry non-performing loans were on the rise and thereby necessitating additional capital raising.

In his address of welcome, the President of RIMAN, Mr. Jude Monye welcomed delegates and participants to the conference with the theme: The Role of Risk Managers in Economic Development and Revenue Diversification.

According to him, the global oil crisis has left a bitter taste with most oil producing nations and Nigeria in particular, due to its heavy reliance on oil revenue and non-diversification of its revenue base among others.

He said RIMAN has been at the fore front of best practice in risk management in Nigeria for more than 16 years, adding that the resolve of the association to ensure best practice in risk management and risk advocacy remain unshaken.

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