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Rogue bankers steal customers’ funds online

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The simplification of banking services by technology has brought with it some hazards, including online frauds, OZIOMA UBABUKOH writes on the increasing rate of tampering with customers’ funds by bank employees

Cases of internal online fraud committed by bank employees have been on the rise lately, The PUNCH has learnt.

Our correspondent gathered that porous data system, coupled with dwindling remuneration in some of the banks, might have been encouraging bankers to tamper with customers’ funds.

Analysts are of the view that the quest to live fantasy lifestyles might have led some of the bankers to engage in such an illicit act.

An employee of a new generation bank said many of his former colleagues were sacked within the last two years due to discreet online manipulation of customers’ funds.

“Some had to resign when the lid on their deals was blown off,” the source, who pleaded not to be named, said.

“The most common cases are those that have to do with bankers tampering with the accounts of deceased customers and transferring the funds into their personal accounts within the same bank, or some other banks,” the source added.

The Central Bank of Nigeria had last month said there was a need to collaborate with various industry stakeholders to ensure that banks and other players in the financial services sector had maximum information security.

The CBN, through its Chief Information Security Officer, Taiwo Longe, had said that information security involved the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data, regardless of the form the data might take; whether electronic or print.

He said, “Financial institutions, hospitals, telecommunications corporations and private businesses, amass a great deal of confidential information about their customers, employees, products, research findings and financial status, among others.

“As such, there is a need for maximum security of this information that is collected, processed and stored on computers and transmitted across computer networks.

“When the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data is impacted, security is said to have been breached. There are various threats to information security. Some are very dangerous and disruptive; others are just a nuisance.”

Responding to the issue of online banking fraud, the Bankers’ Committee, through the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, said, “Online frauds in the banks are connected to biometrics. All frauds will end up in some accounts; so, if you have details of the person that post that account, that is the biometric details, no two individuals can have the same details, it will be easy to basically track or determine the culprit within the overall system.

“Remember that the industry is going to be sharing this platform. Therefore, once you know where that person is across the entire industry, we will all know that the person is a fraudster and he cannot change his name. The day you register, that is your name forever. If you come back with a thumbprint, and you try to change your name, the system will determine what you are about to do.”

“The second level is that the Bankers’ Committee is also looking at ways to determine what the appropriate levels of online transfers can be. The whole idea is to mitigate the issue of people transferring money and huge fraud. By reducing the amount, for instance, the incidence and the value of what that fraud can possibly be can be reduced.”

An industry analyst, Eseoghene Idolor, told our correspondent that poor internal control and checks by the banks usually created loopholes for their employees to commit fraud.

“Therefore, to reduce or eliminate fraud, there is a need to always have effective audit, security and surveillance systems during and after bank official operating hours,” he said.

The immediate past Chairman, Committee of e-Banking Heads, Mr. Chuks Iku, however, differed, saying, “It is very difficult to tamper with the accounts of customers in a bank because of the internal processes.”

According to him, closing an account or tampering with someone else’s money is not that easy, adding, “I do not agree that customers’ funds can be tampered with.

“If someone wants to commit fraud in the bank, it is difficult to stop, but such fraud will definitely be found out,” he added.

The Head, Brand and Media, eTranzact, Mr. Adeyemi Opene, encouraged customers to embrace mobile banking, “as there is minimal fraud in the process and it will help to avoid the bankers’ undue access to customers’ funds.”

“We didn’t pioneer online transactions, but we have really worked so hard to ensure that mobile transactions are seamless and secure,” he added.

Opene argued that for every transaction through mobile banking, there was a two-level authentication that made it very difficult for fraud to be perpetuated.

“We pioneered the Electronic Security Authentication; so, there is no way fraud can occur through the mobile money process, except when one reveals one’s card details,” he added.

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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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