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Senate, CIBN Seek to End Malpractices in the Banking Sector

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The Senate committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, chaired by Senator Adetokunbo Abiru and the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) have vowed to sanitize the banking sector and bring to book erring banks and their employees involved in any form misconduct.

The collaboration was cemented at the Senate during an interactive session between members of the committee and CIBN.

The umbrella professional body for bankers in Nigeria led by its President/Chairman of Council, Dr. Ken Opara met with the banking Committee to seek assistance of the Lawmakers in the passage of the proposed CIBN Act Bill and other key issues and initiatives affecting the banking and finance industry.

Senator Abiru emphasized the need to rid the banking industry of corruption and sharp practices which are inimical to the progress of the nation.

He said; “As lawmakers, we shall continue to ensure that the banking industry is properly regulated by enacting modern laws required to engender confidence in the industry as well as perform effective oversight over the regulators such as the CBN and the NDIC.

“We hope to partner with relevant professional bodies, especially the CIBN. I am happy to note that the process of amending the CBN Act of 2007 will be concluded soon.”

We shall equally fast-track the passage of other Bills meant to strengthen the financial services industry in Nigeria.

Abiru who is also a member of the institute assured of the Senate’s resolve to support the CIBN to solve the Nation’s inflationary and other prevailing economic crisis.

He said; “Your coming at a time the National Assembly is debating amendments to the CBN Act as well as other related issues to help the government and the CBN navigate the current economic challenges posed by rising inflation and persistent naira depreciation.

Harping on the need to pass the CIBN Act, First Vice President CIBN Prof. Deji Olanrewaju stressed that many corrupt bankers evade prosecution under the guise that they are not members of the CIBN.

Deji explained that by the time CIBN Act bill is passed bankers involved in malpractices will be brought to book under the CIBN Tribunal which he said has a competent jurisdiction like a Federal High Court.

He explained; “The tribunal according to the provisions of the act law 207 has power and competent jurisdiction like a high court which means that any judgment passed by the tribunal is like a judgment passed by the high court, so they have to go to court of appeal but lo and behold, majority of those that we ought to bring to book escaped on the pretext that they are not our members.

“They work in the bank and deal with money but they said they are not members and as a lawyer we know the importance of the jurisdiction. These people are working in the bank but their activities are affecting us globally, so we must do something tangible that will make us sanitise the system.

Without the amendment to that law there is nothing we can do. We also reach out to agencies like EFCC and ICPC that are working against malpractices.

In an earlier address, the President of the CIBN added that if the CIBN Act is amended, everyone working in the banking sector will be held accountable for misconduct or financial crimes.

He said; “In the current amendment, we want to capture everyone working in the banking industry in Nigeria for the purpose of upholding ethics and professionalism CBN, NDIC, and banks are to send reports of allegations of misconduct to the Institute.

Dr Ken also revealed the plans of the institute to expand its name and coverage. “The expansion of the Institute’s name to include ‘Finance” to conform to the Institute’s coverage and best practice: “Chartered Institute of Banking and Financial Services”. -Section 1 to cover institutions under the regulation of CBN, especially non-conventional banks.

“And to also include persons carrying out non-conventional banking. This will enable the Institute to foster ethics, maintain professional standards and build capacity in the ever- evolving novel/modern banking practice, e.g. FinTechs will have an enabling environment to provide financial services through the use of digital and modern technology.

Senator Orji Uzor Kalu bemoaned the level of malpractices committed in the banking sector. The former Governor supported the passage of the CIBN bill.

“I wish you asked us to start the amendment ourselves. Because the banking industry needs sanitisation , they defraud unsuspecting people by juggling of money from one account to the other by bankers which they do with the computer system or any other means and want to encourage the CIBN to continue to play its role. The Government needs you at this crucial economic moment, Kalu said.

In his contribution Senator Osita Izunso advised that the amendment of the CIBN bill should also take into consideration the Federal Government’s Investment and Securities Tribunal to further boost its legitimacy so as to avoid constitutional bottle necks.

Izunaso advised; “I’m talking about the composition of the membership. It is you, the CIBN themselves that constitute the membership and that will still have a problem of legitimacy.

“I want us to look at it from the perspective of the Investment and securities Tribunal, that is constituted by the Government, it’s not by you yourselves, so ICT is set up by Government but it is in the act that the Government should constitute it.

“What we should have in this amendment is that it should be in the act, but that the Government should constitute it , when that happens there can even be budgetary provisions for it. That will give it plenty of legitimacy.

Izunaso also urged the CIBN to also grant membership to non-workers of the Banking sector who usually have dealings with banks.

“If I’m a customer and I have been defrauded by a banker, it’s not fair when you consider only the banker, you should consider every other person who is into banking, “Izunaso added.


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History as Nigeria Launches Mew 5-in-1 Meningitis Vaccine

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Nigeria has launched the new Men5CV vaccine, which offers protection against five strains of the Neisseria meningitidis bacteria (meningococcus) responsible for meningitis.

History as Nigeria Launches Mew 5-in-1 Meningitis Vaccine

Nigeria becomes the first country globally to launch the vaccine, which is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Men5CV vaccine rollout is a significant advance in the fight against meningitis, as it provides broader protection than the previous vaccines.

It shields against the major strains A, C, W, Y and X of meningococcal bacteria in a single shot. Existing vaccines sold in Africa are only effective against strain A.

The introduction of Men5CV is particularly crucial for Nigeria, one of the 26 hyper-endemic countries in Africa, which recently experienced an outbreak leading to 1,742 suspected cases.

In response, a vaccination campaign was conducted in March 2024 to reach more than one million individuals aged from one to 29.

The vaccine’s development, spanning 13 years, was a collaborative effort between PATH and the Serum Institute of India, with funding from the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

The Men5CV vaccine utilises the same technology as the MenAfriVac vaccine that has eradicated meningococcal A epidemics in Nigeria.

In July 2023, the WHO prequalified the meningitis vaccine, branded as MenFive. It went on to issue a formal recommendation for its launch in October.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, provided funding for the vaccine and emergency vaccination activity, and allocated resources for the Men5CV rollout in December.

The vaccine is now available for outbreak response through the emergency stockpile managed by the International Coordinating Group on Vaccine Provision.

Mass preventive campaigns involving the Men5CV vaccine rollout across sub-Saharan Africa’s ‘Meningitis Belt’ are expected to commence in 2025.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. WHO director-general, stated: “Meningitis is an old and deadly foe, but this new vaccine holds the potential to change the trajectory of the disease, preventing future outbreaks and saving many lives.

“Nigeria’s rollout brings us one step closer to our goal to eliminate meningitis by 2030.”


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NAFDAC Alerts Nigerians to EU Ban on Dex Soap

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National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has alerted Nigerians on the ban on Dex Luxury Bar Soap (No 6 Mystic Flower), by the European Union (EU).

NAFDAC Alerts Nigerians to EU Ban on Dex Soap

The notification is contained in a public alert with No. 012/2024, signed by Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, director-general, NAFDAC, and issued to newsmen in Abuja on Sunday.

“The product does not comply with the cosmetic products regulation; it also contains Butyphenyl Methylpropional (BMHCA), which is prohibited in cosmetic products due to its risk of harming the reproductive system.

“It also causes harm to the health of unborn children and may cause skin sensitisation.

“It is as a result of the defective nature of the product that the EU banned it.

“The products is not in NAFDAC database; importers, distributors, retailers and consumers are to exercise caution and vigilance within the supply chain,” she said.

NAFDAC boss urged marketers and consumers to avoid the importation, distribution, sale and use of the product, stressing that product’s authenticity and physical condition must be carefully checked.

She enjoined members of the public in possession of the product to discontinue sale or use, and submit stock to the nearest NAFDAC office.


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EFCC Discovers Fraudulent COVID Funds, World Bank Loan in Poverty Ministry

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Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has discovered shady dealings involving COVID-19 funds, World Bank loan, as well as Abacha recovered loot at the Ministry of Poverty Alleviation and Humanitarian Affairs.

EFCC Discovers Fraudulent COVID Funds, World Bank Loan in Poverty Ministry

In a Sunday statement, Dele Oyewale, EFCC spokesperson, said the funds were released to the Ministry by the Federal Government to execute poverty alleviation programmes.

The anti-graft agency said its recent investigation into the affairs of the ministry led to the recovery of N32.7 billion and $445,000 so far.

The EFCC added that “suspended officials” of the Ministry were linked to the fraudulent practice, saying those found wanting will be prosecuted accordingly.

“At the outset of investigations, past and suspended officials of the Humanitarian Ministry were invited by the Commission and investigations into the alleged fraud involving them have yielded the recovery of N32.7billion and $445,000 so far,” the statement reads

“Discreet investigations by the EFCC have opened other fraudulent dealings involving Covid-19 funds, the World Bank loan, Abacha recovered loot released to the Ministry by the Federal Government to execute its poverty alleviation mandate. Investigations have also linked several interdicted and suspended officials of the Ministry to the alleged financial malfeasance.

“It is instructive to stress that the Commission’s investigations are not about individuals. The EFCC is investigating a system and intricate web of fraudulent practices. Banks involved in the alleged fraud are being investigated. Managing Directors of the indicted banks have made useful statements to investigators digging into the infractions.

“Those found wanting will be prosecuted accordingly. Additionally, the EFCC has not cleared anyone allegedly involved in the fraud. Investigations are ongoing and advancing steadily. The public is enjoined to ignore any claim to the contrary.”

Recall that, Betta Edu, suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, announced she has no link with the N30 billion purportedly recovered by the EFCC.


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