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Heritage Bank Opens Branches in Lagos, Ibadan

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Heritage Bank, the newest player in the Nigerian banking sector, has opened its first two branches in Marina, Lagos and Dugbe in Ibadan, Oyo State Capital.

While the Marina branch went on stream mid-March, the Ibadan office opened for business in the first week of April.

Ifie Sekibo, chief executive officer, Heritage Bank, describing the development as momentous in the life of the new bank, in his welcome address at the Ibadan branch opening, noted that the Nigerian banking landscape has now been primed to witness great development and innovation, especially in the deployment of technology to give the banking public a fresh experience.

According to him, “this is the dawn of a new day in the banking industry as we make history with the full establishment of Heritage Bank. It is a new day that births our offering of trans-generational significance as we commit to helping Nigerians create, nurture and transfer wealth to the significant others in their lives”.

“With the launch of our operational branches, we have signed up to the charter of establishing a bank that is tuned to the discipline of global best practices and the passion of delivering transformational experiences for everyone that honours us with their custom.

Our commitment will always be to harness what you have and grow it into what it can be with you and your generations’ security in view. We are poised to leverage our over 150 years combined experience, great people and cutting-edge technology to build and most importantly, preserve your heritage, once you choose to partner with us in this unique journey we have embarked on”, Sekibo added.

The Heritage Bank helmsman equally pledged the bank’s determination to work with each customer to create a name and heritage for today and future generations.

He said this would be achieved through Partnership, People and Process, noting that at the heart of Heritage Bank’s aspiration to consistently deliver premium services to its customers lies innovation wrapped in modest elegance and knowledge.

“At Heritage Bank, each guest is unique in all respects and our pledge is to bring you into a world of financial services designed with a deep understanding of your needs and wants. Our people have signed up to the charter of getting knitted to the personal lifestyle of each individual and we are wired with the passion of delivering five star experience and exposure at every point of contact with our clients. For all classes of our customers either at the individual or institutional level, we present a pledge to surpass expectations. We have simplified banking and with our innovative financial products, your money can perform at its maximum potential”.

“We are a tenacious team, committed to delivering distinctive financial services, building on our legacy of innovation and partnership to create, preserve and transfer wealth across generations.

We shall create value for all stakeholders using superior market knowledge, operational excellence and a culture of integrity. We are here to share our values of Excellence, Respect for the Individual, Integrity and Innovation with you. We ask that you hold us to this pledge as we open our arms and doors to you”, he further pledged.

Akinsola Akinfemiwa, chairman of the Bank, said the bank would readily offer help to SMEs in the area of structuring their operations to be able to access credit for growth, development and sustenance.

Heritage Bank, he said, would fill the ‘generational banking’ space in the nation’s financial sector to create generational wealth for lasting development.

Akinfemiwa further pledged that the bank would assist in project financing and revenue collection in Oyo state, adding that the management chose Ibadan as the first place to open a branch outside Lagos due to its significance to the Southwest and its enterprising populace.

He disclosed that more branches, which the bank prefers to call ‘Experience Centres,’ would be opened in Abuja and Port Harcourt, and other parts of the country soon.

On his part, Senator Abiola Ajimobi,  Oyo State Governor, who was on hand to cut the tape to commission the new Ibadan branch, expressed optimism that the bank would live up to its promise to contribute to the economic development of the state.

“For us in Oyo state, we are happy to welcome Heritage Bank to Ibadan and we look forward eagerly to your promise to help galvanize and rejuvenate our small and medium enterprises so that together, we will be able to build a lasting, prosperous economy for our people to thrive and meet their aspirations”.


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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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