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Op-ed: NCC: Giving Digital Boost to President Muhammadu Buhari’s Next Level Agenda

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On June 12, Nigeria will be celebrating “Democracy Day” and Twenty-one (21) years of uninterrupted democratic rule. And the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) riding on its mandate to connect Nigeria and create an information rich society, remains on the driver’s seat.

 

Provision of the necessary digital impetus to the actualization of the economic diversification of Mr. President, tailored towards a free market economy which is not tied to oil and gas is on NCC’s priority list. This push is in tandem with the administration’s “Next Level Agenda” as it enters its fifth year in this long democratic race.

 

During President Buhari’s first term, the NCC positioned telecoms as the baseline enabler for the realisation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020 of the government, which is a short-term economic blue print designed to drive the economic diversification agenda of the government.

 

Through deliberate and sustained efforts in driving major initiatives, programmes and necessary regulatory interventions, the NCC has been able to deepen access to telecommunications services- voice and data – across the country which has helped in positively impacting other sectors of the economy such as healthcare, education, agriculture, finance, transportation, commerce, governance, and so on.

 

NCC: A believer in President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic agenda

 

The Executive Vice-chairman of the NCC, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, is consistently supporting the economic agenda of President Buhari through the provision of more digital access to individuals, corporate and government for the implementation of the agenda has been validated by available official data.

 

The Telecoms sector has witnessed huge growth in terms of the subscribers’ base, earnings to the government, increase in gross domestic product (GDP), teledensity and increase in foreign direct investments into the sector. Today, the sector has contributed 14.07 percent to GDP. Active mobile voice subscribers have increased to over 189 million with a teledensity of 99.16 percent. Internet subscribers have increased from 128,365,704 to 136,203,231; broadband penetration increased from 38.49 percent (indicating 73,466,093 on 3G and 4G networks) to 39.90 percent (76,163,670 on 3G and 4G networks).

 

The Commission has committed millions of Naira to driving ICT innovations in the academia and among technology innovators. We have also activated and increased the number of operational Emergency Commission Centres (ECCs) being built by the Commission to 17 states throughout the Federation and the Federal Capital (FCT), Abuja – 18 ECCs in all.

We have successfully scrubbed over 24 million invalidly-registered subscriber records via Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) in fulfilment of the mandate to establish a credible database of telephone subscribers.

 

As a Commission, we have recently taken measures to regularise activities of all satellite operators including Space Station Operators as well as Earth Station operators; issuance of landing permits to Space Stations beaming signals over Nigerian territory. In line with our regulatory excellence, we have now put the Communications and Digital Economy Complex, Jabi, Abuja to use. This move has helped to leverage the various world-class facilities within the complex to increase NCC’s overall operational efficiency and subsequently achieve better cost-cutting measures in line with the Federal Government’s directive.

 

Also, because of its huge impact on the nation’s GDP, developing broadband infrastructure to deepen penetration among individual and corporate consumers of telecoms services has been the focus of the Commission.

 

Based on the understanding by the Commission that telecommunications breaks barrier and can act in its own right as an enabler of socio-economic transformation, growth and modernisation across all sectors of the economy, the NCC Management has deliberately embarked on initiatives, serving as digital fulcrum and catalyst that propel the inter-sectoral implementation of the socio-economic transformation agenda of the current government.

One of such initiatives is the licensing of infrastructure companies (InfraCos) to provide additional robust broadband infrastructure across the geo-political zones in the country. Six(6) of the InfraCo licences have been issued to five(5) geo-political zones and Lagos carved out as the sixth zone because of its commercial centrality, while the last and seventh licence for the North Central region is being worked on by the Commission. This is in addition to several other strategic initiatives being embarked upon by the NCC to address sundry challenges confronting telecoms infrastructure deployment by the existing licensees.

 

Digital impetus for Next Level Agenda

To sustain its forward-looking economic growth agenda, President Muhammadu Buhari, has restated commitment to the cause of advancing and consolidating on the gains of his first-term economic transformation agenda. To this end, the President has tagged economic blueprint for his second term as the Next Level agenda. A cursory look at the Next Level agenda shows that the President, in the current dispensation, aims to focus on improving security, improving the economy and reducing poverty; as well as fighting corruption and corrupt practices.

 

Speaking on the Next Level agenda recently, the Hon. Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, said he would ensure that all agencies under his ministry including the NCC key into supporting the President in achieving his new agenda.

Nigeria recently launched a New National Broadband Plan (2020-2025) aimed to “deliver data download speeds across Nigeria at a minimum speed of 25Mbps in urban areas, and 10Mbps in rural areas, with effective coverage available to at least 90% of the population by 2025 at a price not more than N390 per 1GB of data (2% of median income or 1% of minimum wage).”

 

During the presentation by the Committee on the NNBP (2020-2025), the Minister, Pantami, said: “The NNBP addresses 3 of the 8 priorities that the Federal Government assigned to the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, and the parastatals under its purview, for implementation. These priorities are the implementation of broadband connectivity and execution of a plan to deploy 4G across the country, as well as the development and implementation of a digital economy policy and strategy”.

 

The Minister continues, “The development of a Broadband Plan aligns with global best practice and the constitution of the Committee is in line with the powers of the Minister as stated in Section 23(a) of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003- the Minister shall be responsible for ‘the formulation, determination and monitoring of the general policy for the communications sector in Nigeria with a view to ensuring, amongst others, the utilization of the sector as a platform for the economic and social development of Nigeria”.

 

“…Broadband supports the development of the digital economy and a focus on growing the National Digital Economy will also improve and diversify the nation’s traditional economy. The implementation of the Plan will lead to creation of jobs, improved socio-economic development and sustained economic growth, amongst others. However, it is important to note that the successful implementation of the Plan requires synergy between government and the private sector”.

 

According to him, “telecoms has been supporting the country in the areas of job creation, improvement in security and efficiency as well as in making life easier and better for Nigerians, charging the NCC leadership “to continue in this direction and as any individual agenda will are bringing onboard must have direct bearing toward supporting the promises of President Muhammadu Buhari to succeed in his promise to Nigerians.”

 

Thus, the Minister has thrown his weight behind the NCC’s InfraCo project in what he described as the correlation it has to propel the attainment of the Next Level agenda through accelerating increased digital access to Nigerians across the country.

In the Next Level agenda, emphasis is placed on infrastructure with the critical ones being roads, rail, power, and the Internet, marked to be treated as ‘critical infrastructure’ and according to the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC)/Chief Executive, NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, globally telecommunications has become an essential factor for measuring the level of a nation’s socio-economic and political development. He noted that countries with well-developed telecoms infrastructure tend to outshine their counterparts without adequate telecoms infrastructure in all development parameters.

 

5G: Next digital revolution for Next Level agenda

Without any doubt, the liberalisation of the telecoms industry has greatly impacted the different sectors of our economy. From e-commerce, e-banking, e-agriculture, e-healthy, e-transportation, e-education, etc. The liberalisation ushered in different players leveraging different technologies to offer services. The unprecedented growth recorded in the telecoms sector with a multiplier effect on other sectors of the economy has been as a result of the sound regulatory regime which has been consolidated in the last 19 years. We have come up with a lot of frameworks, regulations, guidelines and policies that have provided and will continue to create the enabling environment for future of telecommunications growth in Nigeria. The future is promising and as regulator, we see a lot of prospects ahead for the industry especially in the area of broadband penetration to accelerate the transformation of Nigeria into a truly knowledge and digital economy. The future of telecommunications in Nigeria, just as it is the case globally, is broadband and the NCC is well positioned to drive this digital frontier.

 

In the last five years, we had put a lot of emphasis on deepening broadband penetration and we are creating an environment that allows operators to deploy the newest technologies that can offer Nigerians better service experience with greater efficiency. Consequently, it is our commitment to see that, going forward, all new sites to be built by mobile network operators (MNOs) are Long Term Evolution (LTE)-compatible; the implementation of the harmonised Right of Way (RoW) charges on State and Federal Government highways at the cost of N145 per linear meter is realised; there is elimination of multiple taxation and regulations; and spread of 3G coverage to, at least, 80 per cent of the Nigerian population over the current 56.4 per cent of the population covered with 3G networks.

 

We are also ensuring the upgrade of 2G base transceiver stations to 3G; spread of 4G/LTE services to 100 per cent of the population with a minimum broadband speed of 1.5 megabit per second (Mbps); deployment of, at least, an Access Point of fiber with a 10 gigabyte per second (Gbps) capacity in all the 774 local government areas (LGAs) of the Federation through the InfraCo project.

 

According to Danbatta, “with the impending commercial deployment of 5G technology globally by 2020, the Commission has started preparing for and planning, in earnest, to ensure Nigeria is not lagging behind in the area of 5G deployment”.

 

We want to ensure spread of Fifth Generation (5G) to, at least, five per cent of the population. Already, the NCC in November, 2019 pioneered 5G trials in Nigeria, becoming the first telecoms regulator in West Africa to proactively begin such trials toward unleashing greater digital revolution. We have also worked with stakeholders to develop guidelines on the use of Television White Space (TVWS) to extend affordable broadband penetration to underserved and unserved areas. TVWS is the unused broadcast spectrum which can be deployed in the telecommunications sector to provide cost-effective broadband services to people in the rural, underserved and unserved areas of the country towards achieving universal access and universal service in line with the country’s digital agenda. In summary, the future of telecommunications in Nigeria is incrementally bright as the Regulator is always proactive in providing the regulatory environment for the deployment of cutting-edge technologies to further push Nigeria ahead in the digital revolution.

 

The 5G era would be characterized by the upswing in the use of new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, Big data, Fifth Generation (5G), Augmented Reality and many more all of which will advance sustainable development through the digital transformation it will bring for the economies.

 

“With 5G, the NCC is looking at three (3) usage scenarios, which include: the enhanced mobile broadband applications, the ultra-reliable low latency applications and the Machine to Machine (M2M) applications. Hence, 5G will be characterized by high speed, M2M explosion and low latency, all of which will require reliable broadband infrastructure, which is one of the pre-occupations of the Commission as we speak,” the EVC said.

 

He has also noted that three (3) frequencies: the 26GHz, 38GHz and 42 GHz are part of the frequencies approved by International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for 5G. This, he said, is in addition to the Commission’s ongoing effort to leverage television white (TVWS) technology to expand affordable broadband services to rural, unserved and underserved areas of the country.

 

The Commission has conducted 5G Proof of Concept (PoC) Trials. The EVC explained that the whole idea behind the trial is to be able to see what the challenges are with regards to 5G deployment in Nigeria. “Security challenges, level of radiation power density, whether this is within the acceptable limits provided for the International non-ionization radio Radiation Protection Agency as well as to address whatever challenges that we need to come to terms with preparatory to commercial rollout of 5G services in Nigeria.”

 

Role of infrastructure and spectrum to 5G

Danbatta has drawn correlation between 5G networks and effective telecoms infrastructure. Expectedly, 5G will offer higher Internet speed and low latency and machine to machine (M2M) exposition, all of which will run on robust broadband infrastructure, which the Commission is currently driving and will ultimately support the digitisation of the Nigerian economy towards accelerating the actualization of the President’s Next Level agenda.

 

He said: “Without pervasive infrastructure, the dream of rollout of 5G services will remain what it is, just a dream. As such, Nigeria has put in place the InfraCo project for this purpose. Also, we have put in place an excellent initiative of spectrum trading, to allow efficient utilization of licensed and existing spectrum through leasing or transfer to other operators from a licensee instead of keeping such spectrum idle.” Recently, the Commission suspended the Spectrum Trading Guidelines (2018) in order to carry out a review in response to global telecommunications dynamics and for more robust Spectrum trading activities. Paragraph 12 of Spectrum Trading Guides 2018 vests the Commission with the right to review/vary and modify the Guidelines from time to time as it may deem fit.

 

Telecoms Investment drive: The real boost for Next Level agenda

Telecoms, as an enabler for other sectors of the economy, is highly capital-intensive. As such, Danbatta said the support of the President is very key in support of the Commission’s efforts at addressing various challenges inhibiting investment into the country’s telecoms sector.

 

“Yes, we have recorded major milestones in our telecoms sector. But are we satisfied as a Regulator? The answer is ‘No’. This is because we still face inadequate infrastructure. Consequently, the NCC had identified 220 clusters of access gaps in the country and the real challenge behind connecting this large population of about 40 million is infrastructure deficit. This informs why the NCC evolved the InfraCo project with Public Private Partnership component embedded in it. In a recent update study carried out in 2019, the number of people living in the unserved and underserved areas was estimated to have dropped to 31.16 million and number of clusters reviewed down to 114.

 

Meanwhile, the EVC has assured that the Commission is committed to providing the enabling environment to attract the needed investment to expand 5G deployment while ensuring efficiency of existing technologies from 2G, to 3G and 4G towards providing the needed consistent digital impetus to the realisation of the Next Level Agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

Dr. Henry NKEMADU is the Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission

 

 


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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University.

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NAVSA: NITDA Changes Existing Reality in Agricultural  Sector

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By Lukman Oladokun

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete” —Buckminster Fuller

We live in a time of digital transformation and it is driving change in all areas. The ubiquitous nature of ICT in revolutionising every human endeavour has made its adaptation also in agriculture universally popular. Developed nations are achieving food sustainability due to early adoption of ICT in their farming processes.

In a report to the G20 Agricultural Deputies in 2017 on Information and Communication Technology in Agriculture by the Food and Agricultural Organisation, (FAO), by 2050, the world population is expected to surpass 9 billion and for the world to meet the attendant increase in food demand, agricultural production will need to increase by 60 percent from its current level in order to meet the additional global food need. Application of ICT to collect and share timely and accurate information on weather, inputs, markets and prices to the stakeholders in agricultural value chain would play a significant role to meet the global food demand.

In Nigeria, with a population of about 200 million and 48.84 percent of the population in agricultural sector which provides employment for about 30 percent of the population, the importance of adoption of ICT to farming techniques cannot be over-emphasized. It is in recognition of the importance of sustainable food systems for food security and growth and the need to provide targeted information to every farmer that necessitated the federal government of Nigeria to mandate NITDA “to improve food production and security” and also “to ensure that the entire citizenry is empowered with Information Technologies through the development of critical mass of IT proficient and globally competitive manpower”.

The Agency has swung into action to actualize these mandates through many initiatives. As far back as the beginning of the millennium, the Agency entered into partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, (UNECA) to produce the Nigeria ICT4D document which details the roles ICT could play in rejuvenating 12 critical sectors of the economy, with agriculture taking a prime of place.

As part of the efforts to help farmers in Nigeria adopt more efficient and sustainable production methods and reduce the burden of labour-intensive tasks and manage their farms better to help build a more resilient, sustainable and productive food system, the Agency in 2019 initiated a value addition process for agriculture named National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA), an ecosystem-driven digital platform envisioned for the transformation of the agricultural sector in Nigeria. It is envisaged that the programme would assist the farmers and other stakeholders in agricultural ecosystem to navigate the journey across sector value-chain which involves farm production and management of their produce.

The main thrust of the programme is the integration of digital technologies and innovations to improve productivity and income of farmers and other ecosystem players in a bid to reposition agriculture as a viable business that has the potential of attracting the youthful population in the country.

At the launch of the pilot phase of the program in Jigawa State, one of the states that have comparative advantage in agriculture, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami observed that “the way agriculture is practiced needs to be modernised and transformed in such a manner as to encourage young talents to set up agriculture enterprises and position agriculture as a major means of economic diversification and growth, thereby increasing its contributions to the nation’s GDP.“

An in-depth analysis of the programme reveals it is aimed at helping the administration of President MuhammaduBuhari achieve  two of the three cardinal objectives of the administration by transforming the economy and fighting insecurity.

The pilot started with 130 farmers who were “adopted” into the programme. Expectedly, the initiative would give rise to new agricultural business models and opportunities that would stimulate huge potential in job and wealth creations with attendant effect of playing a major role in the diversification and shift from monolithic economy the nation is known for.

Arguably, previous government’s initiatives aimed at putting the agricultural sector on a pedestal to ensure food sufficiency could not be said to have been successful largely due to dispassionate mind-set of Nigerian youths who do not see a viable future in venturing into agricultural businesses.

This is occasioned by the retention of the old-fashion agricultural practices; inadequate provision of credit facilities, market to sell farm produce and other challenges.

Nowadays, with digital technologies making incursion into every human endeavour, coupled with relatively-large technological-savvy youths, a good articulated programme like NAVSA would proffer solutions to those challenges.

In his remarks at the closing of the two weeks long training on how the youths can use digital tools for agricultural purposes, the DG NITDA Mallam Kashifu InuwaAbdullahi maintained that the agricultural sector remains one of the critical sectors of the economy that can leverage digital innovations to create jobs, wealth and build a vibrant digital economy for Nigerians.

He however, decried the position of the sector in the usage of technological tools as dismal, adding that “agriculture remains one of the least digitised sectors in Nigeria despite its potential as one of the most veritable sectors for economic diversification.”

The twin challenge of meeting the domestic food requirement for attainment of a food sufficient nation and production of quality produce required for domestic and international market which are occasioned by inadequate access to appropriate information almost in real-time; inadequate entrepreneurship ideas and poor knowledge of agricultural value chain opportunities for existing and emerging Agricprenuers would eventually be  things of the past with the proper implementation and adoption of the programme. These will be achieved by providing information to stakeholders through the introduction of digital technologies and innovation across agriculture value chain in transformative manner.

In mitigating these challenges, the project focuses on adoption of “radical rethink” and collaborative approach between the public and private sectors that operate across the value chain. To achieve this, a proposed strategy which requires consensus building and connecting ecosystem players towards a shared vision has been identified.  NITDA, using NAVSA, intends to collaborate with 22 industry players, with each player entering into agreement or signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on expected roles it will perform.

The ecosystem includes farmers; Federal, State and Local Governments; input suppliers and produce off-takers; mobile/telecommunications service providers; Banks; FinTech; smart solutions service providers; renewable energy service providers; investors; development partners; agriculture platforms; startup businesses, agriculture experts and extension workers among others. The values these partners would bring to the success of the programme is alluded to at the closing ceremony of the training at Dutse,Jigawa State by the State Governor, His Excellency Mohammed Badaru. He confirmed that NITDA has partnered with telecoms operator, (MTN) and has developed a special package for smart farmers which comes with 4G SIM cards with a one year internet data subscription. Other add-ons to the digital tools include certified seeds, smart water pumps machines, fertilizers and other items.

He stated further that “NAVSA created a wallet scheme with seed capital of N200,000 for each smart farmer. Both the state government and NITDA contributed half of the amount each. The wallet scheme is designed to domicile money for proper projects execution whereas JASCO will serve as farm inputs service provider.

In ensuring that funds for the project are not used for other purposes rather than what it meant for, the project is designed in a way that all transactions are required to go through the platform with the aid of the digital wallet. Funds are not allowed to exchange hands and the only way a farmer could access the fund is through request on the platform to a NAVSA-registered input supplier.  In making it a self-sustaining venture, it is also designed in such a manner that allows smart farmers to plough 75 percent of their profits back to the open wallet where it can be cashed out and the remaining balance of 25 percent goes into a restricted wallet to increase the investment capital.

This laudable initiative intends to create 6 million jobs in the next 10 years. This may look so ambitious but the strategies put in place to accomplish the aspiration are well tailored with articulated Key Performance Indicators that provide clear guidelines for it. The strategy is targeted at adopting farmers in all 36 States and 774 LGAs in the country, support and equip them with skills and resources that will make Nigeria one of the leading nations in food sufficiency, security and exportation.

It has now become imperative more than ever before to adopt the use of technology to combat hunger and promote sustainable agricultural practices that are attractive to youths. Digital technologies and innovations are at the heart of managing agriculture value chain from seedling to off-take. And these are that targets of NAVSA going forward.

 


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Huawei’s Investment in Nigeria Reaches $76m

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Huawei Technologies Company Nigeria Limited, a leading information communication technology (ICT) solution supplier in the Nigeria telecoms market said it has made a total investment of $76 million in the country.

Huawei’s Investment in Nigeria Reaches $76m

Mr Trevor Liu, managing director of Huawei Technologies Company Nigeria Limited, made this known when he visited Mrs Zainab Ahmed, minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, last week in Abuja.

He said apart from that, his company made procurements worth $630 million with a tax revenue of $103 million between 2016 and 2019.

According to him, Huawei has created over 400 direct job opportunities in which 70 per cent are Nigerians. This, he stated, is in addition to over 60,000 indirect job opportunities and over 470 Nigeria sub-contractors and partners.

The company has in the country established international training centre in Abuja, with Innovation and Experience Centre and Regional Network Operation Centre (RNOC) in Lagos, he said.

Mr Liu also stated that in the company’s ICT job creation efforts, there is over 54 Huawei ICT Academy in universities and polytechnics and has certified over 880 students and teachers each year.

Over 13,600 Nigerian students participated in Huawei ICT Competition for 2018-2019 and won third prize in the global final, the company’s chief informed the Minister.

According to him, Huawei has provided ICT training for its Nigerian partners, customers, converging over 900 engineers each year, while over 400 engineers have got the company’s authorised ICT certification.

In its programme for government officers, Huawei trained 1000 government officers in ICT technology in 2019 apart from training 2000 youth in ICT in 2016, and training 1000 girls in 2014-2015 basic ICT, he said.

In her remarks, Mrs Ahmed commended Huawei for its investment in Nigeria, assuring the company of the federal government support.

However, she appealed to the firm to assist the Nigerian education system with affordable solutions that would guarantee digital value additions and accessibility to the rural communities so as to expand the country’s rural telephony.

The Minister said the education system has been most impacted by COVID-19 and only students and children in the cities have been able to have access to digital learning.

“A lot of our kids and students in the rural communities are not fortunate enough to plug into such platform,” she said.

She also appealed to Huawei to bring into Nigeria assembly plants and repair workshops that could help create jobs and expand the value chain for the Nigerian citizenry, noting that the country is a big market.


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Heritage Bank’s MD Calls for More Impactful Role in Banking to Aid Speedy Economic Recovery

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In the quest to aid speedy economic recovery and impactful service delivery to stakeholders caused by macro-economic headwinds and Covid-19, banking sector’s players have been charged to maximize the opportunities by re-strategizing its roles that will address emerging risks.

Ifie Sekibo, managing director/CEO of Heritage Bank Plc, made the call during the 47th Quarterly Meeting of the Association of Chief Audit Executives of Banks in Nigeria (ACAEBIN) with the theme “Elevating Internal Audit’s Role in the Face of Emerging Risks and Opportunities” held virtually on Microsoft Team’s platform, which was organized and hosted by the Heritage Bank, at the weekend.

Sekibo who was represented by Jude Monye, executive director, Heritage Bank Plc, whilst addressing internal auditors of banks, inquired from the bankers on the readiness of the Internal Audit function to lend the necessary support in exploiting and maximising the opportunities without impairing their independence.

He, however noted that with the rapid changing developments forced by the pandemic sweep across globe that have upended organisations in every sector of the economy, banking inclusive; internal auditors would notice that their modus operandi are outdated.

To this end, he stated that this was the most auspicious time for Chief Audit Executives to rethink how they perform various aspects of their audit assignments.

Sekibo suggested that auditors must “become versed in cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, data analytics, fraud management, regulatory pronouncements, forensics etc and having equipped himself, present balanced, objective audit reports to Executive Management while striking the right balance between the assurance and consulting responsibilities.”

He further hinted, “Embracing new processes and tools to modernize and maximize the audit function helps not only with the perception of internal audit’s value, but also the reality of its contributions. Opportunities to evaluate include virtual auditing, electronic workflow management, and distance team-building and development.”

According to him, it becomes imperative for audit teams to embrace change, harness it and use this season to strategize on what internal audit can be in the future, whist noting that only Chief Audit Executives that maximize the opportunity to refresh and reposition will make their role more relevant and impactful for stakeholders.

Meanwhile, he commended auditors for their contributions to the industry including inputs made in shaping policy directions by regulators and the fight against fraud and other financial crimes which helped in no small measure in deepening confidence of the banking public.

In the same vein, Yinka Tiamiyu, Chairman of ACAEBIN,reiterated the need for internal auditors to maximize opportunities of the current challenges facing the industry, as each day brings new developments that directly influence the likelihood and potential impact of banking future.

According to him, there are challenges on our part as Bankers in meeting up with the needs of our customers and the general public, and we must ensure that such challenges are surmounted.

He stressed on the need for regular annual audit plan to be reviewed quarterly to address current events that have significant impacts on the business, whilst ensuring that the key players continuously provide banking services to customers in a convenient and safer way.

“On our part, the need for improvement in service delivery and safety of customer’s funds as we digitalized our product offerings are concerns facing the industry, as such we must not relent in our efforts to get strong authentication mechanisms as we make our services more convenient and easier for Customers.  Banks should strive to find solution to the problems associated with identity theft as we pursue digital products and inclusive banking. This is to ensure that customers are happy with us and complaints minimized,” Tiamiyu urged internal auditors of banks.

 


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