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MasterCard Launches Priceless Africa, Rates CBN’s Cashless Successful

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By end of Q4, 2013 Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) ranking would have surpassed South Africa’s and making the oil rich West African nation the largest economy in the continent;  Daniel Lanre Monehin, division president, Sub-Saharan Africa at MasterCard stated however stated that it does not change the fact that the former Apartheid enclave remains the most advanced economy in Africa.

Speaking at the MasterCard’s launch of its ‘Priceless Africa’ campaign in Lagos, Monday night, Monehin said Nigeria’s rising global profile cannot be ignored.

He noted that the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, in Q2, 2013 had Lagos in the top 5 of the most visited cities in Middle East and Africa and registered 2.2 million international overnight visitors. Nigeria is a strategic country for MasterCard and through the priceless opportunities we create for residents and overseas visitors, we aim to bring out the depth of African warmth and hospitality,” said Monehin.

Monehin noted that MasterCard’s Priceless Africa campaign a part of the global Priceless Cities campaign that aims to reward consumers in Nigeria for their loyalty and to enhance their journey towards embracing cashless transactions.

Nigeria will be joining the current 26 MasterCard Priceless destinations across the globe, as consumers get to enjoy the best in travel, attractions, sports, dining, shopping and entertainment.  

Nigeria has been making great strides in the transition towards becoming a cashless economy, owing to the drive by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). 

Through the Priceless Africa campaign, MasterCard aims to reward consumers who have adopted cashless transactions and are already benefiting from the  “Nigeria already appreciates the immense benefits that cashless transactions have to offer and the Priceless Africa launch could not have come at a better time, when more and more consumers are adopting electronic payments. As we make strides towards a world beyond cash in Nigeria and across Africa, we create opportunities like these to reward our valued consumers with unrivalled experiences that help them pursue their passions and encourage a continual shift from cash to electronic payments.”
 
The Priceless Africa campaign also aims to make Nigeria an attractive destination for visitors travelling to the country for business or leisure. It will also give Nigerian cardholders access to a plethora of experiences and offers in their preferred travel destinations around the world.
 
“We understand that many international visitors are coming to Nigeria for business and leisure so we want to create a conducive environment to experience all that this great country has to offer.
 
Concurring, Tarek Abdelnabi, vice president, Marketing, Sub-Saharan Africa, MasterCard said:  “We are delighted to introduce the Priceless Cities platform to our consumers across the region, as an appreciation of their loyalty and engagement. We are working closely with our local partners to enhance Nigeria’s reputation as a global destination, by creating unique experiences for residents and tourists. MasterCard places its consumers at the core of all it does; and by making their experiences in Nigeria or around the world unforgettable and priceless, we are doing just that.”
 
Some of the experiences and offers that consumers will enjoy in Nigeria vary from luxurious beach retreats, food and dining discount offers at selected restaurants, unforgettable entertainment experiences, travel and shopping experiences from around the world, and access to exciting sporting events.
 
Priceless Africa is part of MasterCard’s Priceless Cities platform, which was initiated in New York City in July 2011.

This campaign will be extended to other countries in Africa, with the aim of connecting consumers through Priceless experiences across the continent.

The launch of Priceless Africa follows the launch of Priceless Arabia in Dubai in September.


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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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