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FG probes Wema Bank, others over illegal accounts opening

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Wema Bank MD, Ademola Adebise , In Trouble For Allegedly Laundering Money For Tinubu And Alpha Beta

Nigeria’s federal government through the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) has announced the commencement of investigation into Wema Bank’s activities following alleged data breach and illegal opening of accounts, after an exposé by us .

Mr. Babatunde Bamigboye, head of Legal, Enforcement and Regulations Lead at the NDPB announced the development in a statement made available to this media platform on Tuesday.

The statement said, “Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (the Bureau) has commenced investigations into reports of breach of data privacy involving two major data controllers in Nigeria, namely, Wema Bank PLC and KC Gaming Networks (Bet9ja). This is in line with Section 37 of the 1999 Constitution and the provisions of Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) 2019 – particularly Articles 2.1(2)-(3), 2.6 and Article 4 of the NDPR.

“It will be recalled that sometime in May 2022, some customers of Wema Bank PLC complained of breach of their rights to data privacy and protection by the bank. This data processing, according to the complaints against the bank, involves using their personal data to open accounts. The bureau is also investigating report of breach of data privacy at KC Gaming Networks. The breach in this case involved alleged external attack on the KC Gaming Networks.

“At this stage, the objectives of these investigations as directed by the national commissioner/CEO of the bureau, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, are to determine the impact of the breaches on the affected data subjects and the remedial actions taken by the concerned data controllers. The bureau assures members of the general public that it would ensure proper accountability of the data controllers in the ongoing investigations.”

It had been reported that several customers of Wema Bank accused the financial institution of conducting illegal banking practice in the country.

They said they discovered that the bank and its agents had been opening unauthorised accounts for customers with information or data in the bank’s possession.

According to them, the financial institution, led by Ademola Adebise, has allegedly been opening accounts for some Nigerians on its digital banking platform, ALAT, without their knowledge or consent in a bid to celebrate its 5th anniversary.

In a chat with this Newspaper on Friday, a journalist (names withheld) who had hitherto not had an account Wema, said that despite not operating any account with the bank, the lender opened an account on his behalf with information sourced from his BVN.

“I don’t have any account with Wema Bank but I was shocked when I began to receive messages from them via the email linked to my BVN, informing me that my account was safe with them.

“I have contacted the bank to report the development but to no avail. They have continued to send same mail.

“This means someone is using my details for banking transactions. It’s fraud and I shall seek legal redress,” he said.

Following the report, the Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) queried the bank over the development.

In a tweet posted on its official handle on Friday, the commission said the situation was becoming widespread and should not be ‘secretly tackled’.

“Can Wema Bank comment publicly on the message that consumers without Wema Bank accounts are receiving across the country, allegedly from the bank? This situation is widespread and cannot be a DM issue anymore. Wema Bank has to come clean,” the tweet from the commission read

I am Paschal Ogechi Obi Chikero . I have written and published three books , I wrote Festus Keyamo's biography- Lion In Isolation .I have been a Reality TV show Producer/Creator, an Actor and Film Script Writer.

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Sekibo, Obi, others harp on security, leadership for economic prosperity

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Sekibo, Obi, others harp on security, leadership for economic prosperity

The MD/CEO of Heritage Bank Plc, Ifie Sekibo and other notable Nigerians have

affirmed that the apt way to boost economic prosperity and peace in the country is to

start addressing leadership challenges and insecurity.

Sekibo and other notable Nigerians like the Presidential aspirant of Labour Party, Peter

Obi, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo, Dr. Victoria Ekhomu and Barrister

Sotonye Inyeinengi-Etomi, during the 2nd Edition 2022 Forum, one-day International

Colloquium organized by The Men’s League of Christ Church Port Harcourt, tagged,

“What do Nigerians Want?”, extensively brainstormed on the kind of leadership the

country needs and how to rescue the country from its current debacle.

Speaking on the topic, “The Economy Nigeria Needs to Break Forth,” Sekibo stressed

that of important to achieving the transformation the country needs, there was urgent

need to address insecurity, which according to him, is the foundation of prosperity, as

no nation can achieve much where the is no peace.

Sekibo, represented by the Divisional Head, Strategy & Business Solutions, Segun

Akanji emphasized that for security purposes, there must be an established functional

and value adding identity system in place.

“On a higher note, I think one of the things that we need to achieve as a country is the

issue of functional and value adding identity management, which is still far away from us,

although, some people know that we have BVN, NIMC and a few other identity capture

systems but they have not been as functional and value adding, like the social security

number that most people in advanced economies carry,” he stated.

Sekibo further explained that to achieve a prosperous economy, Nigeria needs to find

ways and means by policies to build dual circulation economy which thrives on three

pillars.

According to him, we need to focus on building dual circulation economy where we can

expand domestic production and demand by making sure that the masses are

employed.

“We need to make our people are productive and stop putting subsidy in unproductive

zones. When you give subsidy to people with inadequate or no income, they really

cannot add value to the economy, and money has a way of flowing away due to import

of consumables from other countries and because of this, a larger portion of every

consumption or cash given as subsidy gets out of the country,” said Sekibo.

The bank’s helmsman further explained that to expand the domestic production,

government must give the private sector support to drive employment creation,

technology, which is riding on innovation and manufacturing must be in place and, the

population which is an added advantage must be well educated.

He highlighted the need to examine how the country could add value to primary

production for global export, emphasizing on reduction of over dependence on foreign

markets but rather increase local production for export, whilst also increasing demand

on local products.

Sekibo further affirmed that if states could function as proper federating units

and take the lead of the competitive comparative advantages therein, wealth creation

would be achieved that would bring about the desired changes.

The former governor of Anambra state and presidential aspirant, Peter Obi lamented

the huge indebtedness of the country, which he blamed on unproductivity due to the

inimical situation of high unemployment rate resulting to over 80million Nigerians being

jobless.

He blamed the cumulative failure of government over the years on insecurity, failure to

migrate from sharing formula to production formula and lack of will to transform the

power sector and the need to focus and support the micro, small and medium

enterprises (MSMEs).

In his paper titled, “The President Nigeria Needs”, Pastor Ighodalo harped on the need

for leadership change.

He argued that what the country needs now are leaders who have vision and are ready

to sacrifice for the common man, stating, “things must be done differently”.

Ighodalo believed leadership remains the bane of Nigeria’s transformation, stressing that once we get good leadership other things will fall in place.

Prof. Oyewo while speaking on the topic “Restructuring and True Federalism” was of

the view that some responsibilities need to be decentralized like the police, power

provision and railway.

Once there is decentralization, he believes that the state will have less dependence on

the centre, “rebalancing of the constitution in terms of power and security. So, there is

reason for state police.”

Oyewo maintained that regions are closer to the people, thus it will boost security, the

economy and sense of belonging by the populace.

He also identified data and planning as key factors in ensuring that programmes are

tailored towards the people.

L-R: Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo; Coordinator of the Nigerian Association of Constitutional Law (NACL); Dr. Oruene Finebone – Secretary, Mediacal Women Association of Nigeria, Rivers State Branch; Barrister Sotonye Inyeinengi-Etomi, President of the Men’s League of Christ Church Port Harcourt; Very Rev. (Dr), Ivan Ekong, Asst. Resident Minister, Christ Church Port Harcourt; Figbene Briggs, Regional Head, South South 1 & 2 Zone; Dr. (Amb.) Victoria Ekhomu, Group MD/CEO of Trans-World Security Systems Ltd.; Very Rev. Jonathan Udofia; Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, Trinity House, International Christian Worship Center; Elder (Engr.) Stanford Tassie and Alabo (Arc) Duboye Donald Graham-Douglas, during the 2nd Edition 2022 Forum, one-day International Colloquium organized by The Men’s League of Christ Church Port Harcourt, tagged, “What do Nigerians Want?”, held in Port Harcourt.

L-R: Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo; Coordinator of the Nigerian Association of Constitutional Law (NACL); Dr. Oruene Finebone – Secretary, Mediacal Women Association of Nigeria, Rivers State Branch; Barrister Sotonye Inyeinengi-Etomi, President of the Men’s League of Christ Church Port Harcourt; Very Rev. (Dr), Ivan Ekong, Asst. Resident Minister, Christ Church Port Harcourt; Figbene Briggs, Regional Head, South South 1 & 2 Zone; Dr. (Amb.) Victoria Ekhomu, Group MD/CEO of Trans-World Security Systems Ltd.; Very Rev. Jonathan Udofia; Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, Trinity House, International Christian Worship Center; Elder (Engr.) Stanford Tassie and Alabo (Arc) Duboye Donald Graham-Douglas, during the 2nd Edition 2022 Forum, one-day International Colloquium organized by The Men’s League of Christ Church Port Harcourt, tagged, “What do Nigerians Want?”, held in Port Harcourt.

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ADEDUNTAN SUSTAINS HIS WINNING STREAK, PIONEERS LEADERSHIP EXCELLENCE IN BANKING

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FirstBank Celebrates 2021 Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Week, Calls for All to Adopt Kindness as a Way of Life

Since his appointment as MD/CEO of First Bank of Nigeria Limited in 2016, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan has completely transformed the financial institution and has made it attractive to every strata of the society. From an institution that used to be perceived as an old-generation bank, FirstBank is now a darling to all as it leverages latest digital tools to meet its customers’ needs.

Also, under Adeduntan’s leadership, the 128-year old bank has made huge contributions to national development, thereby stimulating development, setting standards and motivating excellent output across sectors. Clearly, these contributions to national development were what endeared Adeduntan to President Muhammadu Buhari who recently saluted him on his recognition by Cranfield University, UK, one of the most prestigious citadels of learning in Europe. Adeduntan will on Wednesday, June 22, be conferred with Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa and he would be delivering an address to the graduating class of the university. This feat, the president in a statement by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Femi Adesina, described as, “another testament to the fact that Nigeria is blessed with the brightest and the best in all areas of human endeavor.” Buhari lauded Adeduntan for being a role model to the younger generation, showing that hard work pays, and with resourcefulness and doggedness, great heights are achievable.

Adeduntan holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Ibadan, Master’s in Business Administration from Cranfield University, and is Fellow of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), as well as Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).

The president sent best wishes to Adeduntan and family as he hoisted Nigeria’s flag proudly to receive an honor Cranfield University said was in recognition of his outstanding contribution to business. Incidentally, Buhari’s commendation came on the day the bank successfully held its AGM which showed a stellar performance in its financials, a transformational result that put the bank on course to reclaiming its leadership position of the financial sector.

Adeduntan has a distinguished career in finance having held senior positions at Citibank Nigeria, KPMG and Arthur Andersen Nigeria. He studied at Cranfield University as a British Chevening Scholar, achieving an MBA in 2005.

Commenting on the honour by Cranfield University, the FirstBank boss said: “I am extremely humbled and most grateful to the university for this recognition. My time at Cranfield served as a catalyst for my professional and personal development propelling me to the leadership position I occupy today.

“I am a firm believer in talent management, being vital to further accelerate Africa’s growth to enable it to benefit from its demographic dividend and the opportunities therein. I look forward to sharing my experiences with the students on the universal applicability of the skills the Cranfield MBA provides to positively impact the world.”

On his part, the Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor of Cranfield University, Professor Karen Holford CBE FREng also congratulated Adeduntan, saying: “It is an honour to welcome Dr Adeduntan back to Cranfield to recognise all his professional achievements in this way. His own experience at Cranfield University has propelled his career forward and this serves as a true inspiration for our graduates both this year and in the future.”

Indeed, Adeduntan is an accomplished professional with distinctive international and domestic experience in commercial and investment banking, development finance, audit, and consulting; a philanthropist and leader with keen interest in providing platforms for the development of other young leaders.

The FirstBank Group, the commercial banking arm of FBN Holdings Plc, which he heads is made up of First Bank of Nigeria and subsidiaries including FBNBank UK, FBNBank DRC, FBNBank Ghana, FBNBank Senegal, FBNBank Guinea, FBNBank Gambia, FBNBank Sierra Leone and First Pension Custodian as well as Representative Offices in France and China.

Adeduntan is overseeing one of the most extensive transformation programmes in sub-Saharan African financial services industry, with the goal to reposition FirstBank Group to market pre-eminence.

He is leading FirstBank Group on the journey to win the most significant emerging business opportunities in the financial services industry through the development and execution of a digital-led strategy that has established FirstBank as the dominant player in digital banking.

FirstBank Group’s transformation programme, under the leadership of Adeduntan has enabled the bank to grow customer accounts from about 10 million in 2015 to over 36 million (including digital wallets), become the second largest issuer of cards in Africa with over 11.8 million issued cards, onboard over 18.6 million active customers on FirstBank’s digital banking platforms, and initiate and grow the most expansive bank-led Agent Banking Network in Africa with over 170,000 agents.

His career in banking and finance, spanning almost three decades, has earned him various recognitions and awards including Forbes Best of Africa – Outstanding Leader in Africa, Distinguished Alumnus Award by both the Cranfield University’s  School of Management and the University of Ibadan, African Banking Personality of the Year,  African Banker of the Year Award; Banking Icon of the Decade by the Sun Newspapers and induction into the African Leadership Magazine (ALM) Hall of Fame, Honorary Citizenship of the State of Georgia and Congressional Commendation Award from the Georgia Senate – USA, Bank CEO of the Year by the AES Excellence Club and several other awards.

He has attended various executive and leadership programmes at Harvard Business School (USA), Wharton School (USA), London Business School (UK), IESE (Spain), University of Oxford (UK), University of Cambridge (UK), CEIBS (China) and INSEAD (France). He is a fellow of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).

Adeduntan’s leadership drive also reflected in First Bank Nigeria Limited’s recently released full year 2021 financial statement. The results clearly showed the strength and resilience of the iconic African elephant as well as the financial institution’s leadership in the industry. The impressive results were a reflection of the robust strength and growth of the iconic African elephant, showing that the bank has taken its rightful position among the industry leaders.

In addition, it showed the level of work the current board, management and staff of the bank have put in to turn the tide in the 128 years old institution with entrenched corporate governance.

The full year 2021 performance by the bank represented a shift in the financial institution’s performance trajectory and was made possible through its undeterred commitment in pursuing its transformational agenda; cutting across customer-led innovation, building a digitalised bank, culture change, reinventing the bank’s workplace and safeguarding its assets for the digital age.

For the first time, FirstBank Group posted the best result in more than a decade history of the bank by crossing the N100 billion profit line. Specifically, in the full year 2021 financial statement, the FirstBank Group reported a 73.9 per cent growth in its profit after tax to N117.8 billion, as against the N67.8 billion recorded as of December 2020, just as its profit before tax stood at N130.9 billion, which was a significant rise by 77.9 per cent year-on-year, as against the N73.6 billion it was as of December 2020.

FirstBank’s gross earnings also increased by 30.3 per cent to N716.8 billion in 2021, up from N550.3 billion it was as of December 2020. Also, it recorded non-interest income of N342.2 billion in the year under review, which was 106.4 per cent higher than the N165.8 billion recorded as of December 2020. As a result of years of strategic restructuring of its balance sheet and operations, its gross earnings also moved northwards by 30.3 per cent, its total assets was up 15.9 per cent to N8.5 trillion as of the end of 2021, as against the N7.4 trillion recorded the previous year, just as its customer deposits also climbed by 19.5 per cent to N5.6 trillion, up from the N4.7 trillion recorded the previous year. The bank’s customer loans and advances also improved by 28 per cent to N2.8 trillion in the year under review, up from N2.2 trillion the previous year.

FirstBank has shown innovation, resilience and commitment to growth by significantly reducing its non-performing loans (NPL) from 25% in 2016 to an acceptable level of 6.1% in 2021.

To demonstrate that the bank’s performance in 2021 was not a fluke, the Bank equally performed excellently well in Q1 2022. FirstBank recorded 32% increase in gross earnings to N180bn in Q1’22 from N136.6bn in Q1’21. Profit after tax was up 108% to N32.4 billion (Q1’22) relative to N15.6 billion (Q1’21). This impressive performance is hinged on robust loan portfolio, effective cost structure and increased digital services.FirstBank recorded the highest decline in its cost-to-income ratio in Q1 2022, dropping from 79.5% recorded in Q1 2021 to 67.03% amongst tier-1 Banks in the review period.

With FirstBank under Adeduntan, the safety of customers and the security of their transactions come first. This has ensured the bank keeps the trust of Nigerians gained over the many years of its enduring legacy of safety and security.

The bank also delivers unique and bespoke financial services solutions across all customer segments underpinned by its commitment to innovation and the customer experience. It also leverages its strong investment banking capabilities to support clients in defining and executing innovative debt solutions as well as offer strategic advice at the highest level, arrange tailor-made financing structures, manage risk and ultimately help clients to realise their aspirations

Since its establishment in 1894, FirstBank has consistently built relationships with customers focusing on the fundamentals of good corporate governance, strong liquidity, optimised risk management and leadership.

Over the years, the bank has led the financing of private investment in infrastructure development in the Nigerian economy by playing key roles in the federal government’s privatisation and commercialisation schemes. With its global reach, FirstBank provides prospective investors wishing to explore the vast business opportunities that are available in Nigeria, an internationally competitive world-class brand and a credible financial partner. It is expected that the leadership excellence and recognitions accorded to Adeduntan would continue to reflect positively on the FirstBank brand and fundamentals of the bank so that the elephant will continue to stand ‘gidigba.’

Culled from ThisDay

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FIRSTBANK PARTNERS WITH ELOY FOUNDATION TO PROMOTE THE SUSTAINABILITY OF FEMALE OWNED SMALL BUSINESSES

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FIRSTBANK LAGOS AMATEUR OPEN GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP, THE LONGEST-RUNNING GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP IN NIGERIA BEGINS

In furtherance of the need to empower female business owners across the country, The ELOY Foundation, in partnership with FirstBank presents the ELOY Foundation Business Shower, created to support female entrepreneurs on their journey to building sustainable businesses.

The support from FirstBank will be carried out through the FirstGem loan scheme designed for female-owned or partnered MSMEs and its SMEConnect initiative.

 

The partnership focuses on key sectors of the economy and designed to have female entrepreneurs exposed to essential business skills like training, networking and the ELOY Foundation Business Toolkit, a compilation of business survival skills nuggets. The business shower will avail businesses a platform to pitch their ideas to win seed grants and join the ELOY Foundation Sustainable Empowerment Programme 2022. Participants will also be able to access the FirstGem single digit loan, where eligible

 

The ELOY Foundation Business Shower will hold in 5 locations across the country. Kicking off in Lagos on 23 June 2022, the train moves to Port Harcourt on 25 June 2022, then Abuja on 30 June 2022. In July, Kano and Abia will host female business owners on the 2nd and 7th, respectively.

 

The ELOY Awards Foundation Business Showers will offer an avenue to sustain women empowerment by providing entrepreneurial training and mentorship from experienced businessmen and women, arming participants with tools and information to help them grow their businesses.

 

According to Tewa Onasanya, Founder of the ELOY Awards Foundation, “it is not just enough to talk about empowering business owners, it is very important to sustain empowerment by providing guidance towards their business progress and giving them access to different resources to help them continue to thrive. MSMEs are the backbone of any nation and there is a great need to sustain this chain of the economy. It is on this common ground that FirstBank has partnered with the ELOY Team to contribute meaningfully in empowering women to achieve fulfilment in their chosen business endeavours.“

FIRSTBANK secures $150 million Afreximbank Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility (PATIMFA) to support businesses in Nigeria

Speaking on the partnership, Folake An-Mumuney, Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, FirstBank said, “we commend ELOY Foundation for their efforts on this initiative as the continued strengthening and inclusiveness of female driven business endeavours is essential to the growth of the national economy. We are happy to partner with ELOY Foundation on its Business Shower. Together, we will drive the entrepreneurial viability of participants and expose them to business nuggets that will take their business to the next level.

 

Woven into the fabric of society for over 128 years, FirstBank plays a leading role in supporting women through strategic empowerment, capacity building and mentorship programs for women in MSME, leveraging its FirstGem and SMEConnect propositions to women across diverse sectors of the economy as well as strategic partnerships with women empowerment organisations like ELOY.

 

Registration is currently ongoing for the ELOY Business Shower via the link below.

 

https://eloyawards.com/eloy-business-shower-registration/

 

Female business owners are encouraged to send in their business pitch video and business plan for a spot on the ELOY Foundation Sustainable Empowerment Program and a chance to win a grant for their business.

 

 

 

About ELOY Awards Foundation

 

The ELOY Awards Foundation was launched with the primary aim to empower women business owners through partnerships for access to grants and affordable finance, entrepreneurial training, mentoring and networking for sustainable empowerment.

 

The ELOY Awards Foundation is about empowering and challenging thousands of women to be more and do more by providing access to resources and business skills for them to be able to grow, transform and sustain their businesses, which will in turn benefit their families and the community at large.

 

Our watch word is SUSTAINABLE EMPOWEREMENT. That is why we have developed programs and initiatives that invest in the success and the sustainability of women owned businesses.

 

 

About FirstBank

 

First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is the premier Bank in West Africa and the leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria for over 128 years.

With over 750 business locations and over 150,000 Banking Agents spread across 99% of the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria, FirstBank provides a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services to serve its over 30 million customers. The Bank has an international presence through its subsidiaries, FBNBank (UK) Limited in London and Paris, FBNBank in the Republic of Congo, Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Senegal, as well as a Representative Office in Beijing.

The Bank has been handy at promoting digital payment in the country and has issued over 10million cards, the first bank to achieve such a milestone in the country. FirstBank’s cashless transaction drive extends to having more than 10million people on its USSD Quick Banking service through the nationally renowned *894# Banking code and over 4.5 million people on FirstMobile platform.

Since its establishment in 1894, FirstBank has consistently built relationships with customers focusing on the fundamentals of good corporate governance, strong liquidity, optimised risk management and leadership. Over the years, the Bank has led the financing of private investment in infrastructure development in the Nigerian economy by playing key roles in the Federal Government’s privatisation and commercialisation schemes. With its global reach, FirstBank provides prospective investors wishing to explore the vast business opportunities that are available in Nigeria, an internationally competitive world-class brand and a credible financial partner.

FirstBank has been named “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” six times in a row (2011 – 2016) by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” of the Financial Times Group; “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” for seven consecutive years (2011 – 2017) by the Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards and “Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance for 15 years. Our brand purpose is always to put customers, partners and stakeholders at the heart of our business, even as we standardise customer experience and excellence in financial solutions across sub-Saharan Africa, in consonance with our brand vision “To be the partner of the first choice in building your future”. Our brand promise is always to deliver the ultimate “gold standard” of value and excellence. This commitment is anchored on our inherent values of passion, partnership and people, to position You First in every respect.

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