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Meristem Deploys Cost-Effective Solution to Manage Technological Issues



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Meristem Securities Limited and its subsidiary companies, The Meristem Group, a Nigerian non-banking financial services conglomerate has installed Microsoft Azure, the first Azure in Open Licensing implementation in Nigeria; along with Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Azure SQL Database to allow them move their data onto the cloud.

This move has allowed them to save considerably on cost, provide better service to their clients, and work remotely.

Prior to implementing Microsoft’s solution, Meristem had been using locally built, custom software which had some hiccups in day-to-day operations, and required users to be on premise in order to access data.

Also, due to constant power cuts, the company had to constantly run a power-generating set, significantly increasing the costs of doing business.

According to Sulaiman Adedokun, group deputy managing director, “Moving business operations and data storage fully to the cloud stands as the best development in our organisation as regard IT management, minding the nature of our business as investment managers, servicing clients and partners from all over the world.

“Prior this time, all of our infrastructure was on premise and that made it very difficult to operate with the desired level of efficiency, thus, informing our decision to implement Microsoft Azure and Azure SQL. As thought, we have seen that cloud access is paramount.”

“Moreover, we have 5 subsidiary companies. A number of our employees are not only located at different locations within Lagos, but also across other parts of the country. People need to access information, data, etc real-time to serve our clients and they cannot shuttling between the Headquarters and other locations in quick successions.”

While attesting to the benefits of implementing Microsoft’s solutions, Adedokun stated that “the Company’s policy is to operate on the cloud. Everything we want to do, we can do straight from the cloud. This Microsoft solution has enhanced our service-delivery capacity to provide more satisfying services to our clients; and we believe that there are many other Microsoft products we can leverage on now that we are on the cloud to grow our company.”

Also, Ademola Akinbade, managing director and CEO of Lotus Beta Analytics, Microsoft’s implementing partner, explained that Meristem wanted standardized, world-class software with a proven track record of reliability and sustainability.

He said another motivation for upgrading to Microsoft Azure and Azure SQL was that Meristem wanted to implement Microsoft Dynamics NAV, to put an ERP in place that would assist them in managing their business a bit more effectively.       

According to him, Meristem had recently deployed Microsoft Office, and they had been “enjoying the quality of service from Microsoft,” and consequently Azure and Azure SQL were better options both in terms of cost and service provision.

Speaking further, Adedokun, said “about 133 of the Meristem workforce are now on the new solution. As for Dynamics NAV, we have about 30 people on it and we are working towards growing it further.”

Akinbade said recent deployment of Office 365 yielded positive results and has made Microsoft solution an easy fit, adding that Lotus and Microsoft are currently working with the Meristem’s IT team to look out how best to move other local applications to the cloud, starting with the Simplex Application, as well as optimizing the use of Microsoft OneDrive.

Benefits of implementing Microsoft’s solution by Meristem includes better service provision to clients, which was her main priority in deploying Microsoft Azure, constant access to e-mail, constant access to data and financials, even remotely.

Other benefits to the company also includes bridging the gap between Meristem and its customers, significant cost reduction: initial savings of at least 40% on 20 million naira start-up cost, high service quality, reliable and sustainable business solution.
Meristem Securities Limited is a Nigerian-based financial services conglomerate. With its robust online platform, the company which has been in operation since 1994 is a stickler for providing bespoke financial services in Stockbrokerage, Investment Banking, Asset and Wealth Management, Registrars and Trustee functions. 

Meristem Securities Limited is a leader in providing financial services in the Nigerian region and internationally.

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Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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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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