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E-PPAN Intensifies Grassroots Mobilization on Cashless Initiative

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With the nation-wide implementation of cashless policy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on July 1, 2014, the E-Payment Providers Association of Nigeria (E-PPAN) has intensified its Grassroots Mobilization to ensure the initiative meets the targets.

Mrs. Onajite Regha, executive secretary and chief executive officer of E-PPAN, said that the nationwide implementation amongst others will spur development and modernization of the payment system in line with vision 2020.

According to her, the measure will lead to reduction in the cost of banking services and drive financial inclusion as well as improve the effectiveness of monetary policy in managing inflation and driving the economic growth.

Ntia Nnene Sylvia, media and strategy development manager at E-PPAN, in a statement said that the grassroots mobilization, this time, took E-PPAN to Enugu, Cross River and Edo States.

Meanwhile, E-PPAN believes that, “Besides, there is the need for the country’s monetary system to fall in line with standard practices obtained across the world which the cashless policy exemplifies.

With all these in mind, the E-PPAN whose overarching goal is to enhance institutional frameworks and processes for a robust and effective e-payment system in Nigeria aligned its strategies with the objectives of the CBN to mobilize and sensitize the grassroots on the cashless initiative, Regha said.

“This was to get the total support and full commitment of the people at the bottom of the pyramid in order to actualize the laid down objectives of the apex bank in its Cashless initiative drive.

“The last wave of the sensitization exercise which saw E-PPAN touring through the cities, towns, villages, and communities in Cross River, Edo and Enugu state, gave the team the opportunity to experience firsthand the challenges of not being included in the financial mainstream and the opportunities that lie fallow in converting these challenges to solutions that can revolutionarize the payment industry, particularly with the advent of mobile payment which came as an exciting channel for everyone  the team came across.

Giving accounts on the outing the E-PPAN CEO said, the grassroots sensitization in Enugu state commenced with a visit to all the major media outfits.

“This was to create awareness and also enlighten the listeners and viewers alike on the cash policy and the activities of the sensitization team in the state.

“After the media sessions the team then moved into the markets for proper sensitization of the grassroots in Enugu state. The first point of call for the team was the Night Mile Market,” she said.

In Cross River State, Regha, said that the people awoke to the news of the cashless initiative as they watched the live interview on their popular breakfast morning show.

The team which was made up of the Branch Controller Central Bank of Nigeria Cross River State and the E-PPAN representative spoke extensively on the benefits of the cashless initiative to the people of cross River state.

After the discussion, the viewers called to ask numerous questions on the implication of the cashless initiative to the ordinary man and its benefits as well as disadvantage if any.

The team also visited Edo State.  The sensitization in Edo took off at the Edaiken Market at Uselu in Egor Local Government Area.

With the presence of the market women leader, the enlightenment kicked off at the car park within the market which lasted for about two hours.

The team then moved on to Uwelu Auto Spare Parts Market and Mechanic village. In attendance was the Chairman, executives and members of the traders union.

It was observed that apart from hearing of the term cashless Nigeria on radio adverts, they had no clue as to what the policy means, how it applied to them and its benefits.

After the sensitization session, the people were excited by the electronic payments options available as an alternative.

“At the popular Lagos Street Market which is at the city centre, the team met with the community Head, Chief Osula (the Arala of Benin kingdom) who listened to our purpose of coming. He addressed the teaming youth, the market executives and all who gathered at the meeting ground imploring them to pay attention to the good news that the team brought.

“Being the Community market day at Aduwawa, the team went there and kicked off the exercise with a visit to the Odionwere (Eldest man of the community) Chief David Osemunekha.

“The Aduduwa people who came out in mass were entertained by our professional dancers prior to to delivering the cashless message to the traders.

Interestingly, the team carried out live demo on the use of the PoS and Mobile Payment.


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E-Financial

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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E-Financial

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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E-Financial

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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