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Fraud In The Apex Bank: CBN Suspends Deputy Governor, Directors For Fraud

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One of the three deputy governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria is currently on suspension for being involved in ‘a sophisticated plot’ to defraud the bank a huge sum of money, findings by our correspondent have revealed.

 

Top officials of the CBN close to the development told our correspondent that two directors of the bank were also suspended over the multi-million naira scam.

 

The officials, who spoke under the condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak on the matter, said their suspension was ordered by the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, after preliminary findings revealed that they might be culpable.

 

The CBN had on Thursday night said it had uncovered what it described as a highly sophisticated plot to defraud the bank by some people.

 

The bank said in a statement by the Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okoroafor, that while preliminary investigations had not revealed any accomplices within the bank, some personnel within the CBN had been placed on suspension.

 

The nature of the fraud was not specified in the statement.

 

It, however, said the need to place the officials on suspension was to allow for proper investigations by the relevant authorities.

 

The statement read, “A highly sophisticated plot to defraud the CBN by some criminally minded elements has been uncovered and aborted by the bank.

 

“Although preliminary investigations so far have not revealed any accomplices within the CBN, the management has decided to place all key personnel involved in the transaction on suspension.

 

“This is to ensure a full and unfettered investigation. This incidence has been reported to the relevant authorities.”

 

The CBN in the statement assured stakeholders in the banking sector that the security within the central bank remains intact and had not been breached.

 

Experts said the CBN as a regulator was being saddled with responsibilities that were related to that of commercial banking and, as such, made its system prone to corruption.

 

Economic and financial services expert , Mr. David Adonri, who is also Chief  Executive Officer of Highcap Securities, said, “The CBN is a banker to the Federal Government; it is also in charge of the foreign exchange market; it is also in charge of regulating the banks.

 

“In some countries, those functions are separated. The CBN is allocating forex to banks. There have been lots of cries that some are favourerd while others are not favoured. This is something that can breed corruption. There are two ways to allocate scarce resources, namely administration and market. That of administration is not always effective in allocating scarce resources. It is only the market that can do a good job.”

 

He also said, “With the implementation of the Treasury Single Account, the CBN is now more of a banker than a regulator. That is another thing that can breed corruption. The CBN is being saddled with more responsibilities that have to do with banking rather than being a regulator.

 

“The attempted fraud allegation is very disappointing, discouraging and is not expected to be coming from the regulator. This is what happens when the regulator also plays the role of a player.”

 

A top ex-banker and Chief Executive Officer, Cowry Assets Management Limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu,  commended the CBN for having what he described as a robust internal control system to intercept the fraud.

 

He said, ‘The fraud attempt was unsuccessful, so it is a plus and indicates that the CBN has a robust internal control process. It shows the level of desperation of people to make money. This kind of thing usually happens in the financial services sector but the key thing is to ensure there is robust system to intercept it.”

 

The CBN spokersperson, Okoroafor, refused to disclosed the names of the suspended officials.

 

He said, “I am in a meeting in Calabar. Investigations are ongoing. Some key personnel of the bank have been placed on suspension not because they are the perpetrators. We need to have a full and unfettered investigation. Please note that the perpetrators are from outside. Two of them have been arrested and no accomplice has been found within the CBN so far.

 

 

 

@ The Punch

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More Troubles For Dangote Cement As Kogi Govt Demands 10 Per Cent Share, Orders Immediate Seal Off

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However, Dangote Cement is facing allegations of sharp practice from Kogi State government, Kogi Assembly as well as Akwa Ibom State.Already, the Kogi State House of Assembly has ordered stoppage to the activities of the company in two Local Governments in the State while investigations continue.

To make the claim possible, Kogi State House of Assembly ordered the management of Dangote Cement company to provide all necessary documents that have to do with the transfer of Obajana Cement Company owned by Kogi state government to Dangote Cement Company.

The House also directed that the documents signed at the establishment of the Company and relevant receipts of dues it claimed to have paid to Kogi State Government available at the next adjourned sitting date.

The speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly, Matthew Kolawole, gave the order after interim reports of the ongoing investigative hearing on Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) which was submitted by the ad hoc committee led by Hon. Isah Tenimu Umar, Member Representing Lokoja I Constituency and deliberated upon at the plenary on Wednesday.

Kolawole said this has become important in view of the claims and counterclaims between the Chairman of Kogi State Internally Generated Revenue Service (KGIRS) and representatives of Dangote Cement as the acting chairman of KGIRS, Salisu Enehe had earlier accused Dangote Cement Plc Obajana of forging its tax receipt during the investigative hearing by the State House of Assembly.

According to the State Revenue Boss, most of the figures the company claimed to have paid are totally incorrect, urging the company to check its record.

He added that despite the billions of Naira that company is making from the state monthly, it has failed to pay taxes that are due to the state and Lokoja Local Government Area.

Nigerians Getting ₦1,593,247 Per Week From ₦99,000 Investment in Amazon
Nigerians Getting ₦1,593,247 Per Week From ₦99,000.

In another development, Following the unrestrained environmental degradation in Ankpa and Olamaboro local government areas, Kogi state House of Assembly on Wednesday, directed the Commissioner of Police and Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence (NSCDC) to seal off operations of Dangote Plc in the affected areas of the State.

The House gave the order during a public hearing on activities of Dangote Group in the state, especially on the the massive exploitation , environmental degradation and non compensation to the affected owners of the land and without revenue accruing to the state government.

The Speaker, Kogi state House of Assembly, Mathew Kolawole, charged the NSCDC commandant to ensure immediate implementation pending when the ad hoc committee on revenue clarifies some grey areas. Kolawole, who lamented the environmental degradation caused by mining activities on Kogi by the Dangote group and its subsidiaries, accused the multi national business concern of making billions in the state but yet fails to give back to it.

Akwa Ibom is also finding it difficult to collect its entitlement from the Dangote Group. According to reports from the place, the Itu Local Government blocked Dangote premises with their trucks because the company has refused to pay tax for more than two years despite pleas and series of warnings.

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Union Bank, WACOT Rice Kick Off Financial Inclusion Drive for Smallholder Farmers in Kebbi

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As part of Union Bank’s commitment to driving financial inclusion in Nigeria, the Bank has partnered with WACOT Rice Limited – a rice processing company, to financially include 6,000 local farmers including youth and women in Kebbi State.
The Kebbi Financial Inclusion Drive (KFID) which will cover four Local Government Areas – Argungu, Augie, Suru, and Dandi – is a critical part of WACOT’s Argungu Outgrower Expansion Project funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) West Africa Trade Hub. This program is set to resolve the overwhelming financial inclusion deficit within rural communities in Kebbi.
The financial inclusion initiative is being implemented with technical support from National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), to help the farmers acquire the relevant documentation and identification required to open bank accounts.
Union Bank will facilitate account opening and expand its agency banking network to cover the areas while supporting its agents on ground with digital banking solutions to enable seamless transacting and account management.
Farouk Gumel, Chairman WACOT and Board Chair, Union Bank was on ground in Kebbi State to kick-off the drive and paid a visit to the Kebbi state Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu to discuss expanding the programme state-wide.
In his recent keynote address at the recently concluded and  Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Conference, Mr. Gumel said:
 “As we work towards achieving financial inclusion to reach the unbanked, we must commit the same resources and investments to rural-local customers as we have done to urban-global clients to help create the growth that will lift us all to collective prosperity.”
WACOT Rice is a subsidiary of TGI Group. TGI Group, through another of its subsidiary Titan Trust Bank, recently acquired Union Bank in a landmark transaction which was announced in 2021.

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FIRSTBANK PARTNERS VERVE INTERNATIONAL, MAKES CUSTOMERS MILLIONAIRES IN THE FIRSTBANK VERVE CARD PROMO

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In partnership with FirstBank – Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider – Verve International, Africa’s leading payment technology and card business, has launched its third National Consumer promo designed to reward users of FirstBank verve card with exciting gifts and cash prizes to appreciate their patronage and use of the card to carry-out their electronic banking transactions.

The ongoing 2-month promo will end on 30 October 2022 as 20 customers (10 customers per month) with the highest transaction count during the promo will be made millionaires, winning the sum of N1 million each. Also, N20,000 will be won by 25 customers monthly.

On the other hand, 2620 FirstBank verve cardholders that double their transactions every week, stand a chance to enjoy 10% cashback capped at N2,000 per customer.

Speaking on the promo Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, FirstBank said “we appreciate our partnership with Verve Card through the years; a partnership of empowerment and opportunities which include growing the economy, supporting new businesses and preventing unemployment. FirstBank verve card holders are encouraged to keep using their cards as it is a card offering that promotes safe, convenient and rewarding digital banking experience with 20 customers standing a chance to be millionaires at the end of the promo.”

Verve card is a secure debit card that allows cardholders to conveniently meet their daily financial needs such as payment for goods and services, airtime recharge, bill payments, funds transfer, etc. Verve card is accepted across all ATMs, POS, Web and Mobile Platforms in Nigeria.

The promo is also opened to new verve cardholders as non-verve cardholders are encouraged to visit the nearest FirstBank branch today to pick up a Verve card and start getting rewarded!

Only recently, FirstBank – in partnership with Verve – rewarded over 2601 FirstBank verve cardholders with various prizes; including N20,000 cash prize, N10,000 cash prize, N10,000 worth of airtime; power generating sets, refrigerator, cooking gas, smart TV and the grand prize of a brand-new car to a lucky winner.

 

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