A case for treasury management curriculum in Nigeria universities

Article By Femi Ogunshola

As the wind of change sweeps across the financial landscape, embracing enhanced treasury management is no longer an option but an imperative.

It is, therefore important, for institutions of higher learning in the country to recognise the immense value of treasury management and collaborate with relevant stakeholders to develop curricular that would expand treasury management beyond account and finance.

By doing so, they will pave the way for a new generation of financial professionals, armed with a comprehensive understanding of treasury management principles.

Finance experts affirm that in the realm of financial management, the intricate interplay of numbers, assets, and investments shapes the landscape on which accounting and finance have stood tall.

“The hidden within the realm of finance lies a captivating secret, the distinct and awe-inspiring world of treasury management, an artful blend of strategy, risk management, and financial wizardry”, said the Chartered Institute of Treasury Management (CITM) in a recent report.

“Treasury management is the term for all the activities and processes involved in managing a company’s or organisation’s money.

“This includes tasks like cash flow forecasting, investing, risk assessement, and day-to-day operations like banking and invoicing, according to a report by Nomentia, a cash and treasury management firm.

“Treasury management is the process that involves collecting and managing cash flows from operating, investing, and financing activities of a company. In business, it is a key aspect of organisation’s financial stability”, says CFI.

CFI seeks to enhance skills and productivity in finance and banking professionals’ knowledge and productivity.

Mr Olumide Adedoyin, the Registrar, CITM, shades more light on why institutions of higher learning in the country should emulate the counterparts in other parts of the world.

“Treasury management possesses a unique allure that sets it apart from its well-known cousins, while accounting and finance focus on tracking and analyzing financial data, treasury management delves deeper“.

According to him, higher institutions in those countries have recognised that treasury management is aimed at optimising the organisation’s financial resources, mitigate risks, and maximise profitability.

He told a recent stakeholders workshop on treasury management that in Nigeria’s higher institutions budding financial professionals are imparted with the age-old wisdom of accounting and finance.

To Adedoyin, it is essential to acknowledge that the rudiments of treasury management differ significantly from what is conventionally taught.

“The conventional curriculum, though invaluable, often neglects the nuances of treasury management, leaving aspiring professionals ill-equipped to tackle the challenges that lie ahead”, he said.

The registrar said it was imperative to bridge the gap between theory and practice, adding that for universities to produce graduates with requisite knowledge especially in the areas of treasury management, partnership is imperative.

He said CITM offers a transformative pathway to harness the full potential of treasury management because of its potential to equip individuals with specialized skills and knowledge.

This, according to him, is essential to navigate the complex world of financial management with finesse in an era where financial landscapes evolve at breakneck speed.

According to him, institutions offering post-graduate courses in finance and accounting must embrace the need to partner the institute with a view to deepening their programmes towards treasury management.

“Through this collaboration, institutions gain access to cutting-edge materials, world-best practices, and the professional touch and by integrating treasury management into their curriculum, they empower their students to shine in a competitive global economy,” he said.

Daniel Akeju, a financial analyst, is of the opinion that managing the treasury has become the only way to push the narrative when it comes to building a sustainable economy.

He said there must be a paradigm shift on national development process by equipping professionals with the latest skills and global best practices in their disciplines such as treasury management.

`As a professional within the finance gamut I am of the opinion that the nation’s institutions of higher learning should buy into build a virile workforce and this can only be achieved by training and retraining of our workforce”, he said.

He said expanding the horizon of accounting and finance graduates towards the more comprehensive treasury management should be embraced by finance and economy stakeholders.

He said there is need for the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) to ensure that universities running treasury management at master level collaborated with professionals in treasury management with a view to producing well-grounded graduates.

He said it was essential for governments to collaborate with organisations such as the CITM and regulatory bodies like the NUC to build a strong economy and align the nation’s higher education with global best practices.

According to him, the collaboration will significantly benefit the country by promoting the practice of treasury management, enhancing financial education, and ensuring that the curriculum of universities and higher institutions meets the demands of the industry.

“The Federal Government can leverage CITM’s expertise and resources to develop and implement sound financial policies, risk management frameworks, and efficient cash flow management strategies.

“By incorporating CITM’s guidance and adopting best practices, the government can optimize revenue generation, manage public debt effectively, and enhance fiscal discipline, leading to economic stability and growth,” he said.

As the global finance and accounting community shift attention to more comprehensive and transparent treasury management, experts say Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind.

It is incumbent on institutions of higher learning and stakeholders to partner to ensure that future mangers of the nation’s financial resources are well equipped with the right skills to do so.

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