29 years after resigning from his job in the banking industry to start SystemSpecs, a renowned indigenous software technology firm, John Obaro has been conferred with an honorary fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) for his laudable contributions to the banking industry and profession in Nigeria.
On Saturday, during its 2021 investiture, the CIBN bestowed the honour on Obaro, Managing Director of SystemSpecs, alongside other eminent Nigerians, including the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; the Managing Director of Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Mr Hassan Bello; Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Deputy Governor, Dr Kingsley Obiora and six bank chiefs.
Born on 13th April 1958, John Obaro leads one of Africa’s leading providers of financial and human resource technology services and solutions. He has nurtured the firm from a 5-man start-up to an African financial technology giant today.
Remita, one the iconic fintech solutions developed by SystemSpecs, is perhaps most popular with Nigerians for its role as the technology solution powering the Treasury Single Account (TSA), a unified bank account policy recommended by the International Monetary Fund (IMF to improve fiscal management and reduce corruption. The policy has had a profound impact on the federal government’s financial management despite several political constraints, saving the government about N45 billion monthly according to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed.
Other prominent products by the technology firm include Human Capital Management solution, HumanManager and eCommerce platform, Paylink.
“I left banking to start off SystemSpecs some twenty-nine years ago and now, at the end of the day our paths are crossing again because most of what we have done is related to the financial industry,” said John Obaro. “Through SystemSpecs and other fintech innovators, electronic payment has become a thing in Nigeria, and we are privileged that we are one of the earliest players in that segment.”
Remita, the firm’s major fintech product is 15 years old. According to the tech expert, the terms, e-payment and fintech, had not been coined very strongly when the firm ventured into the area but today, they have become popular terminologies.
The 2021 CIBN Fellowship Investiture was centered around Nigeria’s rising debt profile and the issues and implications for sustainable economic development.
“To increase our revenue base and manage our debt better, we need to get more efficient, and technology offers us a leverage,” said John Obaro.
The technology tycoon, therefore, called for an increased technology involvement in public financial management in the country.
Addressing the audience virtually, the WTO Director-General, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala applauded the institute on its unwavering commitment to driving stability in the banking sector.
“The theme of your deliberation regarding Nigeria’s debt profile and its implications for sustainable development is a very important one. If there is a group that has the necessary professional insight on issues of debt and debt sustainability, be it at the individual, institutional or national level, it is you,” Okonjo-Iweala said.
Pix from left Dr Ken Okpara, 1st Vice President/Chairman, Board of Fellows & Practice Licence, Chartered Institute of Bankers CIBN; Dr Bayo Olugbemi, President/Chairman of Council, CIBN; Mr John Obaro, MD/CEO, SystemSpecs Nig Ltd/Awardee, Honourary Fellow, CIBN and Dr Shamsudeen Usman, Special Guest of Honour at the 2021 CIBN Fellowship Award ceremony held in Lagos on Saturday