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The economy of every country is made up of various sectors, the banks are in the financial services sector of the economy. The banking industry In Nigeria started during the colonial era with the primary aim of meeting the commercial needs of the colonial government in 1892. This colonial bank metamorphosed into our first owned indigenous bank in Nigeria. Today there are different types of banks in Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria being the Apex bank, the Bank of Industry, the Bank of Agriculture, Commercial banks, Investment banks, and many micro-finance banks. In this article our focus is on commercial and investment banking.
The banking sector is very important to the survival and development of the socio-economic system of every nation including Nigeria. In times past, to be a banker you would have to be a graduate in banking and finance or business administration but the times have changed. The banking industry today values skill and expertise over certification. Reason they employ specialists in law, taxation, accountancy, human resources, community investment, and also economists, analysts and management reporting specialists.
Nigerian banks have two sets of staff namely Contract staff and Core staff. The contract staffs are usually referred to as Executive Trainee, Direct Sales Agents, Marketers or Entry Level staff. The core staffs are in hierarchy and grades beginning from Assistant Banking Officer, Banking Officer, Senior Banking Officer, Assistant Manager, Deputy Manager, Manager, Senior Manager, Principal Manager, Assistant General Manager, Deputy General Manager, General Manager, Executive Director and Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer. A lot of banks have multiple grades between the entry level staff and senior banking officer. Being a senior manager and above entitles you to golf club membership, gymnasium membership, international travels, chauffeur driven car, etc.
There is The Chattered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) which conducts examinations for degree and HND holders in any discipline or any approved professional qualifications for student members. The examination is in three stages namely: diploma, intermediate professional and chattered banker levels. Successful completion of the three stages of the examination will lead to the award of the certificate known as the ASSOCIATESHIP OF THE CHATTERED INSTITUTE OF BANKERS (ACIB). For ordinary members, the certificate in banking examination is in three stages namely: certificate in banking I, certificate in banking II, certificate in banking III. Successful completion of the three stages of the examination will also lead to the award of certificate in ASSOCIATESHIP OF THE CHATTERED INSTITUTE OF BANKERS (ACIB). Undergraduates can register as an ordinary member and prepare towards sitting for a certificate in banking examination. All that is required to qualify is a secondary school leaving certificate or an ordinary national diploma. This certification is very important because it is required by the CBN that you possess it before practicing as a banker even though many banks default on this law. Reason many worker get retrenched without benefits or compensation because they are not a part of a body that can protect their interest. Asides this fact, it is also a major determinant as to how fast you climb up the corporate ladder.
Internship in a Nigerian bank provides you with an opportunity to learn as much as can about the profession. Some banks have graduate programs for individuals interested in future careers within the industry. Your performance through appraisals and audit reports determine your chances of promotion in the banking industry. As with other careers, patience, resilience, empathy, and rationality is required in determining how far you go