It was a relief for the teeming finance professionals in Nigeria seeking to advance their knowledge in the field, as the British Council in conjunction with the Chartered Financial Institute (CFI), successfully held the first ever Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Exam in Lagos.
The CFA institute is one of the leading professional bodies for the global investment management industry and it awards the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) credential, which is held by over 150,000 professionals around the world.
The examination held at the Landmark Event Centre, Lekki, had almost a thousand candidates in attendance including professionals in the financial sectors.
Before now, Ghana was the closest country where Nigerians trooped to for the examination, while some who can afford it went to Europe with the attendant foreign exchange expenses on flight, hotel and logistics. In Nigeria alone, there are over 2,000 CFA who got their certifications from neighbouring countries.
The Country Director, British Council Nigeria, Lucy Pearson, witnessed the inaugural exam in company with Country Exams Manager, Marniee Nottingham; the CEO of CFA Institute, Paul Smith and the President of CFA Society in Nigeria, Banji Fehintola.
According to Pearson, the British Council’s effort was in response to the huge demand in Nigeria and the need to halt the stress and cost expended on writing the exam abroad.
“Our partnership with a global exams partner like the CFA enables us to achieve these huge ambitions. The British Council currently administers CFA exams in about 40 countries globally and in Sub- Saharan Africa; there are centres in Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, Zimbabwe and of course now in Nigeria. We are happy to bring the exam close to the market. We do that the collaboration would enhance professionalism and better paying job for professionals.
“Through our exams business, we provide educational, professional and life-changing opportunities through globally recognised qualifications. These will enable people work, study, build career prospects and promote personal development. We make a positive impact on people’s lives and communities, delivering over 103,000 exams in the last one year,” she said.
Speaking on the challenges encountered during the process, Smith, who led the institute’s team to Nigeria to oversee the conduct of the exam, said, “There were challenges in getting exam materials in good time to the venue.”
Fehintola said the negative perception of Nigeria over the years had delayed the conduct of the professional exam up till now because the administrators overseas were concerned about security, the right venue and the integrity of the exam.