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Bharti Airtel Decorated at 4thMobileMoney Expo 2014

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Bharti Airtel has been awarded the prestigious Kalahari Award 2014 as a player in the mobile money sector with the fastest growth and expansion in Africa, in recognition of its contributions and commitment to mobile financial services across 15 countries in Africa.

The group won the award on the account of the innovative Airtel Money, a mobile money platform that has proved instrumental to the success of Government’s cashless economy.

In the same vein, Chidi Okpala, Bharti Airtel’s director and Africa Head, Airtel Money, was honoured as the MobileMoney Kalahari “Personality of the Year” at the 4th MobileMoney Expo held yesterday in Lagos.

Receiving the Kalahari Awards on behalf of Airtel Money, Okpala expressed appreciation to organisers of the event saying,“the awards testify to the impact and contributions of Airtel Money to the mobile financial sector in Africa.”

He said, “Airtel Money is humbled by this awards which show the output, hard work and heavy lifting by Airtel Money in just 30 months. As an organisation, we remain humble for this feat and are aware of the responsibility it further imposes on us and we are challenged to do more for our teeming customers across the African market”

Speaking further, he stated that, “It is in line with the vision of Bharti Airtel to be the leader in mobile financial services by 2015. We assure our customers that Airtel Money remains committed and will do more in terms of financial inclusion.”

He also expressed appreciation for being honoured with the MobileMoney Kalahari “Personality of the Year.”

Earlier in his presentation at the Expo, the Bharti Airtel Director who was one of the speakers at the occasion highlighted the significant contributions of Airtel Money to the mobile financial sector in Africa, saying it generates a daily average of 1 million transactions valued at $25 million from an active base of 5Million customers.

He had noted that the Airtel Mobile Money platform assists governments, businesses, institutions, embassies and schools across the African continent.

He said, “Leveraging a network of about 140,000 active agent locations, Airtel is currently creating entire cashless payments ecosystems, leading the charge for massive scale financial inclusion and reducing financial transaction costs across Africa.”

He also harped ona recent World Bank report which indicates that millions of people have mobile phones but do not have mobile money services, this he said, creates the opportunity for Airtel Money to penetrate into the mobile money sector.

He said, “Airtel is renowned for revolutionizing the mobile money landscape in Africa with the ground-breaking Airtel Money. It is also on record that Airtel is the fourth largest telecoms company in the world with over 287 million customers with operations in 20 countries.

Generating a daily average of 1million transactions valued at $25million from an active base of 5million customers, the Airtel mobile money platform currently operates in 15 African countries and renders significant services to governments and the armed forces. These include processing salaries for governments, workers and members of the armed forces thereby eliminating problem of ghost workers.

The Bharti Airtel Director also noted that the platform offers convenience to the people, hinting that it will be launched in Seychelles next month.

He described the service is an innovation which enables customers to turn their phones into electronic wallets.

“Activating the Airtel Money service allows millions of customers to transfer money to their loved ones across different countries in Africa, to purchase goods in partner shops and to pay their bills.

“Airtel Money is available to all Airtel customers. It is a safe and secure service that is password-protected through state-of-the-art security systems. Customers do not require a bank account to enjoy the benefits of the Airtel Money service,” Okpala said.

The 4th MobileMoney Expo was a 2-day event attracted organisations, telecommunications solutions companies and mobile financial organisations across Africa and the world. It commenced from Wednesday 12th   to Thursday 13th of February, 2014 and featured panel discussions, presentations and awards ceremony.

 


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SEC, EFCC Partner Against Ponzi Schemes

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The Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, are committed to strengthening the partnership between the agencies with a view to tackling the menace of Ponzi schemes in the country.

This commitment was restated during a courtesy visit by Mohammed Danladi, the Kano Zonal Head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to his EFCC counterpart, Sanusi Aliyu Mohammed on Tuesday.

The SEC Zonal Head described his visit to EFCC as an effort to solidify the already existing relationship between EFCC and SEC.

“This visit is nothing more than to solidify the existing relationship between EFCC and SEC which dates back to the inception of EFCC. We are here to renew that relationship, foster it and fight the common enemy together”, he said.

Mr. Danladi expressed concern about his Commission’s challenges dealing with operators of wonder banks which are on the rise especially in the northern part of the country.

According to him, “the operators of the illegal scheme are taking advantage of the financial illiteracy of the public to defraud them in the name of investment”.

He added that most of the Ponzi scheme operators avoid SEC registration because they know they would be monitored.

In his response, Sanusi Mohammed, the EFCC Zonal Head, suggested a joint operation between the two agencies to curtail the spread of Ponzi schemes and prevent the public from falling victims of the scam.

Mohammed further assured the SEC of the Commission’s continued support as the two agencies share common objectives to fight financial crimes. “As long as the mandate of EFCC and that of SEC remain, you cannot separate the SEC and EFCC. We will continue to work together institutionally, “he said.

“Where the SEC’s main concern is to make sure investors are protected from losing their investments, the EFCC’s concern is the protection of the general public from the activities of fraudsters, which are one and the same,” the Zonal Head added.


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Oreoluwa Adesakin, First Bank Staff Jailed for Stealing N49m

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Oreoluwa Adesakin, a staff of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has been convicted for fraud and handed a total term of 98 years in prison by Justice Muniru Olagunju of the Oyo State High Court.

Oreoluwa Adesakin, First Bank Staff Jailed for Stealing N49m

Oreoluwa Adesakin

But she will spend just seven years in jail.

Adesakin was found to have committed financial fraud against First Bank to the tune of N49,320,652.32.

She also stole $368,203.00 belonging to the bank, which she converted to her personal use.

Adesakin, before she was busted by the bank and sacked, was its Money Transfer Operator, saddled with the responsibility of effecting payments through Western Union Money Transfer and MoneyGram platforms.

The convict was prosecuted by the Ibadan Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), on a 14-count charge, bordering on stealing, forgery and fraudulent accounting.

One of the counts read: “That you Oreoluwa Adesakin sometime between the months of May, 2013 and November, 2013, at Ibadan within the Ibadan Judicial Division, whilst being a staff of First Bank PLC stole the sum of N25,974,116.13 (Twenty Five Million, Nine Hundred and Seventy Four Thousand, One Hundred and Sixteen Naira, Thirteen Kobo) from First Bank PLC MoneyGram Payment Naira Account, property of First bank PLC.”

She pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Usman Murtala, prosecution counsel, presented every vital document and witnesses which nailed the convict.

Justice Olagunju noted that the EFCC presented incontrovertible evidence against the convict and did a diligent investigation and prosecution.

He thus pronounced Adesakin guilty of all the counts.

He sentenced her to seven years in prison without an option of fine on each of the 14 counts. The sentencing will run concurrently.

Apart from the jail term, the convict is also to restitute the First Bank, through the EFCC, all the money she stole.

The convict was arraigned April 4, 2014 by the EFCC following a conclusion of investigations against her which arose from a petition from her former employer, dated December 18, 2013.

The bank alleged in the petition that Adesakin fraudulently manipulated its Moneygram accounting and withdrew N49,320,652.32 and another $368,203.00 for herself, which the bank only uncovered while reviewing its internal account.

The EFCC was also able to establish that the convict used part of the proceeds of her crime to acquire landed properties in different parts of Oyo State.


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CIBN Recertifies NDIC Academy as Bankers Training Provider

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Council of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has recertified the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) Academy as a training service provider for various professionals in the banking industry.

CIBN Recertifies NDIC Academy as Bankers Training Provider

The council also renewed the academy’s accreditation for the next three years, effective from June 2020.

Mr. Saubana Ogunpola, head of the five-man CIBN Accreditation Team, said the recertification followed the exemplary performance of the NDIC Academy since it initial accreditation in 2016 and the satisfaction of the stringent conditions for the recertification.

The recertification, according to Mr. Saubana Ogunpola, Head of the five-man CIBN Accreditation Team, followed the exemplary performance of the NDIC Academy since its initial accreditation in 2016 and the satisfaction of the stringent conditions for the recertification.

He noted that there would be periodic monitoring to ensure that quality standards are being adhered to.

Mr Ogunpola commended the NDIC for its consistent efforts toward meeting the high standards for the benefit of the banking industry and the larger economy.

He described the NDIC’s readiness to subject itself to the rigors of the Institute’s accreditation process as a testimony of its Management’s commitment to capacity development for all stakeholders.

In his reaction, Mr. Umaru Ibrahim, managing director/chief executive, NDIC, described the recertification as another milestone in the NDIC efforts to consolidate the position of the Academy as a center of academic excellence in the nation’s banking industry and on deposit insurance in Africa.

Mr Ibrahim disclosed that the Academy had so far trained a total of 13,368 participants cutting across the NDIC’s workforce.

“It had also trained 135 participants from relevant stakeholders, including the EFCC, Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), National Pension Commission (PENCOM) and the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).

“On the international front, 19 employees from sister deposit insurance agencies in other African countries had benefitted from the expertise of the Academy,” the managing director noted.

He stated that the NDIC Academy has been designated to host the African Centre for Studies on Deposit Insurance System (ACSDIS) recently established by the Africa Regional Committee (ARC) of the International Association of Deposit Insurance (IADI).

Mr. Ibrahim reiterated that with the recertification, the NDIC Academy is positioned to fulfill the NDIC’s goal of serving as a center of excellence for capacity building on Deposit Insurance Scheme (DIS) for countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

He added that the NDIC prides itself on establishing the highest standards of professionalism and competency among its staff through the NDIC Academy and other human capital development initiatives, including the Chartered Banker/MBA program at Bangor University, Wales in partnership with the CIBN.

The NDIC boss emphasized that the Corporation places high premium on capacity building and continuous high level training of its staff to achieve the NDIC mandate of deposit guarantee, bank supervision, bank distress resolution and liquidation.

“The ultimate goal would be to enhance depositor protection and public confidence in the nation’s banking system,” he said.


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