The Group Executive Director of United Bank for Africa (UBA), Mr Liadi Ayoku, has called for the overhaul of the training curriculum in financial institutions across Africa to reflect current technological realities, which according to him will reflect the modern business expectations and ensure the relevance of graduates to the continent’s economic growth and aspiration.
Ayoku, said this while delivering a keynote address during the annual lecture of the Faculty of Management Sciences, Lagos State University (LASU) titled: “The Future of Finance – Technology at Play” on Wednesday. He explained that finance graduates and professionals must be aware that it was no longer business as usual following the fast-changing technological landscape.
He said: “I am not certain if the finance and accounting graduates of today are familiar with modern financial software packages, including global accounting and financial reporting standards.
“Have they been imbibed with the ready-to-market soft skills like leadership, communication, commercial acumen, flexibility/openness to change and strategic vision? “If not, I will like to propose an overhaul of the curriculum to accommodate these,” he noted.
Ayoku further explained that with technology replacing basic financing, the finance professional that would excel in the future must be quick to retool and adapt to changes.
“Traditional knowledge of finance is getting stale in today’s business world and indeed there is dire need for retooling our skills if we must remain relevant n tomorrow’s financial world. Technology is fast replacing the basics of finance,” he surmised.
According to Ayoku, financial reporting is increasingly being automated, just as data analytics is demystifying performance analysis. Tomorrow’s finance professionals must have capabilities for business intelligence and cognitive analysis. “We must apprise ourselves of the most recent technology and continue to retool our skills to remain relevant today and into the future,” Ayoku said.
The Chairman of the occasion, Dr Rotimi Oladele, the Executive Secretary, Institute of Entrepreneurship, commended Ayoku for delivering a profound paper worthy of equipping account graduates for a future driven by technology while also praising the Chairman of UBA, Mr Tony Elumelu for his contribution to entrepreneurship in Africa, describing him as a ‘global brand of the rarest value’. He said LASU would benefit from its collaboration with the entrepreneur.
“No doubt Tony Elumelu is not just a Nigerian of rare value to Nigeria but a Premium African of rarer value and of course a Global Brand of rarest value. Tony Elumelu today as an ultrapreneur is known all over for breeding entrepreneurs and start-ups in thousands and with millions of dollars ceaselessly in support for sustainability.
“We believe LASU partnering with Elumelu could be the best testimonial of a befitting support to the most multi-cultural and multi-tribal university in Nigeria. The profile of LASU Staff and studentship speak for this fact,” he said.
The LASU Vice-Chancellor, Prof Lanre Fagbohun, represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof Oyedamola Oke, thanked UBA for its support and sponsorship noting that a bank that believes in the support of education is indeed a special institution.