At a recent function in Abuja, the Managing Director/CEO of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, delivered a lecture where he revealed that there has been a consistent decline, over the past three years, in the recorded rate of successful fraud incidences, thefts and forgeries in the banking industry. Specifically, Ibrahim said such cases had declined by almost half, 48.12%, of the rate it was in 2015.
In response to how the industry was able to achieve such impressive reductions, Ibrahim, while putting in perspective the key reason for frauds to help buttress his response, explained that poor corporate governance practices in terms of regulatory and supervisory oversight and compliance allow frauds and forgeries to thrive. So all that needed to be done was to ensure a stronger corporate governance practice. He said the reduction is indicative of the strict adherence to sound corporate governance practices by banks, which include compliance with regulations.
Indeed, experts at a recent workshop organized by the National Institute of Compliance (NIC) agreed that compliance is at the heart of sound banking practices and sustainable banking and that the risk of banking industry failure is remoter now than it was some years back due to a higher level of compliance. The nature of the banking industry, with its intermediation functions, is such that failure can have very dire consequences for businesses and the economy. Thus, banks have a responsibility to ensure a stable industry and this can only be achieved by sound corporate governance practices.
In the 90s and early 2000s, regulatory and supervisory oversight was weak and compliance by banks to regulations was mainly in the breach. Then, the industry was an all comers’ affair, mostly populated by charlatans who see the industry as mainly a meal ticket. Banks were being opened at a dizzying pace then, with sometimes three or four opened in a month. Before the recapitalization exercise of 2005, there were close to 200 banks in the country. There was widespread corruption in the industry at the time, which led to billions of naira of depositors’ money and investors’ funds lost or misappropriated. But following the recapitalization exercise and especially after the global financial crisis of 2008, corporate governance became a major issue leading to the introduction of a raft of corporate governance codes.
For a bank like Stanbic IBTC, regulatory compliance comes like second nature. The brand’s penchant for regulatory compliance was validated in 2015 at the maiden edition of the Corporate Affairs Commission’s Corporate Citizens Awards. Stanbic IBTC Bank came first for compliance among Nigerian banks and was awarded the Most Extensive Compliance award. According to CAC, “over 800 companies were nominated for the awards, only 26 companies made the final list, out of which the nine winning companies emerged,” including Stanbic IBTC and three other banks.
Certainly, there is no better validation than a regulator attesting to a company’s good corporate citizenship. And it is no surprise that a bank like Stanbic IBTC was adjudged the first among equals in terms of compliance. Many sometimes view the bank’s processes and policies as cumbersome because of the different layers of regulatory requirements it insists must be met before a transaction can be consummated. But then on the flip side is that Stanbic IBTC Bank is one of the most secure, transparent and trusted financial institutions in the country today. These qualities continue to translate into very strong financial performances in its operations and a bullish outlook for the stock at the Nigerian Stock Exchange. In its 2018 financial report, Stanbic IBTC Bank posted an impressive 54% growth in PAT. Balance sheet grew by 20% to N1.6 trillion, driven mainly by deposit growth of 7%. And most importantly, was able to improve its asset quality as ratio of non-performing loans to total loans improved to 3.9%.
Financial institutions, particularly Stanbic IBTC, fully appreciate and understand that their survival depend on how well they are able to manage the relationships amongst their stakeholders, which require them to establish and maintain harmony between parties whose interests sometimes conflict. It is the management of such relationships that corporate governance code embodies. It is this realisation that led banks to self-regulate when in 2003 the Code of Corporate Governance for Banks and Other Financial Institutions in Nigeria was established by the Bankers’ Committee and CIBN.
Stanbic IBTC’s strong corporate governance practices is critical to the financial institution’s continued growth trajectory. The seamlessness of its change of leadership last year was quite impressive and such practices will no doubt give it the desired stability to further increase its market share and to post impressive financial results, going forward.
With the 2003 code, the 2014 CBN code and a spate of regulations by the apex bank as situation demands, which makes for a stronger regulatory oversight, one can almost argue that the possibility of a banking industry failure is remoter than constant uninterrupted power supply in the country. Despite the cost of compliance, which can sometimes be huge and burdensome in terms of time and direct cost, and the risk of managements of banks becoming particularly focused on compliance at the expense of doing business, financial institutions remain resolute in ensuring a strong and viable industry. And this is beginning to produce dividends as shown by the recent NDIC figures and the industry’s financial scorecards.
Today, banks sometimes face the wrath of stakeholders as they strive to comply with regulatory directives. A case in point was the directive by the CBN that banks publish the names of delinquent debtors on its books, which did not go down well with some customers. Another was the foreign exchange utilization position, mandated to be published weekly, and the various restrictions to dollar disbursements to bank customers. Treasury Single Account (TSA), which required all agencies of government to each maintain a single account with the CBN, leading to the withdrawal of trillions of naira from commercial banks, was another policy that banks would have gladly avoided but nonetheless diligently complied with. And most recently is the ‘appointment’ of banks by the Federal Inland Revenue Service as tax collecting agents, which pitched the banks directly against some of their customers and trade partners.
There is no doubt that there is a new compliance orientation in the banking industry. And as banks like Stanbic IBTC, Zenith Bank, Access Bank and UBA continue to lead the financial services industry towards improved compliance levels, it will not only check corruption in the banking industry and risk of possible collapse, it will, due to banks’ pivotal role in the economy, help sanitize business practices and thereby attract investors and boost the economy.
Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Nigeria Limited, an oil firm owned by Olajide Omokore, that swindled billions of dollars from the flagship subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation – Nigeria Petroleum Development Company, is to refund $1.6bn to the oil firm following recent judgments obtained by the NNPC.
NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, said this was one of the recent achievements of the anti-corruption fight of the oil firm while speaking at the headquarters of the corporation in Abuja on Tuesday, after he was named patron of the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Professionals of Nigeria.
Baru said, “We’ve made a lot of inroads in terms of fraud detection, prevention and control. The most important thing for the economy and any business is to ensure that fraud does not occur. It is not to allow the fraud to take place and then you start fighting it. So, the prevention aspect of fraud is very key.
“Under the anti-corruption committee, we were able to ensure that all staff members of NNPC and those doing business with the corporation know the correct processes. They also know what constitutes corruption and, of course, they know the punishments that follow.
He added, “I will not like to itemise the areas or each aspect that we’ve done but I must tell you that there is a lot of sanity in what has happened. However, I can just mention one. Recently, we were able to get the Atlantic companies that were fleecing the NNPC subsidiary called NPDC ,and we got an award for them to refund $1.6bn to NPDC through the arbitration process.”
Baru said the NNPC had been able to address some high-profile court cases that were targeted at defrauding the national oil firm.
He cited an instance where the oil firm saved over $350m after it was able to settle a case which it had with another oil company out of court.
Baru said, “We’ve also been able to stem some of the high-profile court cases that we believe had been set up to defraud NNPC. And some of these activities are related to fighting corruption. If you see the amount of money involved and if you don’t have people who are determined to fight corruption, the chances are that you will be compromised.
“We’ve had some other cases, for example, NNPC versus IPCO, where they were demanding over $400m because of their activities. But we were able to settle out of court with them for $37.5m, which is a saving of several percentages and certainly less than 10 per cent of the initial demand.
“So, these are activities which the fraud investigation and, of course, forensic investigation are about, in order to ensure that fraud is not there because you will detect it, investigate it and prosecute it so that you get value for money.”
Leading prophetic voice in the world and senior pastor of Abuja-based Champions Royal Assembly, Bro. Joshua Iginla has remained an instrument in the hands of God to heal broken hearted and transform lives globally.
As the word of God has the ability to impact not only one’s spirit and mind but also one’s physical body, Bro. Iginla has always demonstrated how the power of God heals in significant ways. The servant of God, in his ministering element, practically inserts the word into people and it goes right into the mind and impacts every fibre of the body systems. At the end of the day, the mission gives people the opportunity to share testimonies.
At Champions Royal Assembly, people are witnesses to miracles God performs and has been performing for more than 15 years since its launch. The fast-spreading ministry, headquartered in Abuja,Nigeria has several branches across the world, while Iginla has ignited many dimensions of Christianity characterized by charity, signs, wonders and healing miracles, around the globe.
According to Bro. Iginla: “Our mandate is to wipe out tears, restore people to their destinies by the revelation of the word, manifestation of power and reality of the Holy Spirit, and put an end to affliction and to produce people of fire throughout the globe. The Bible is quite clear about the need for practical support for the needy and it is an unambiguous admonition of God to provide food, shelter and clothing for the sick, widows, children, the prisoners, the elderly and all those who are suffering,” stated the Oracle of God in a chat with newsmen.
Bro. Iginla is not just blessed with the gift of firebrand preaching, and powers of divine healing and prophecy, his mega outreach also serves as conduit through which vital services are provided to local communities. On the side,Iginla writes books, many that inspire sickness-free life, God-centered dating relationships.
Meanwhile, looking at pastors of large congregations today, only a select few of them do tend to contribute hugely to a wide range of charities and community outreach efforts. Among this very few is Bro. Joshua Iginla. From the early Christianity to the modern age, genuine Christians have carried with them a beneficial concept of charity that has had, and continues to have, a substantial impact on humanity. Iginla is a perfect example of this tradition of old. It is always a moment of joy and fulfillment for members of his Champion Royal Assembly and even strangers, the less privileged including widows, widowers and vulnerable children when he blesses them during his regular charity scheme.
In his usual manner, during his birthday last year 2018, the man of God used the opportunity of his birthday which was celebrated on Sunday 27th, May, at his church headquarters in Abuja, to further reach out to the less-endowed in the society.
The revered man of God, who has penchant for touching the lives of the needy, gave out gifts running into over N60 million (Sixty million naira). Bro. Iginla dole out money, houses and scholarships to the aged, helpless widows, the poor and orphans.
Most of the beneficiaries who belong to Muslim and Christian faith had tears in their eyes as they were called out for the money and gifts. They, however, could not stop praying for Bro. Joshua Iginla. The televangelist revealed that being a Muslim did not mean they were evil and could not be assisted, hence, the reason they were located during the church outreach programme. The man of God revealed that he did not know them but the church met them during its evangelism.
Bro. Iginla, during the service revealed that he had the resources to acquire a private jet but unlike other men of God, he decided to use it to assist the needy in the society, as that was the number one mandate God gave to him.
An aged couple, Mr. and Mrs. Dabby Shakari, married for over 80 years, who were part of the beneficiaries said they had been living in abject poverty and were dejected. Life to them had been a twinkle and at a point, hopelessness seemed to have set in because of their continuous suffering. Their condition made them to wonder how life treated them with so much cruelty. At the occasion, the man of God instantly blessed them with a cash of N1 million and promised to build and furnish a befitting house for them within the next two months. Meanwhile, he has already concluded arrangement to get a decent accommodation for them immediately while the house is being built. What’s more, the man of God with a large heart also placed them on a salary for life while promising to change their wardrobe.
Another 20 widows got a lifeline of N200,000 each to help them get their lives back on track. One of the widows, Mrs. Hadiza Audu with three children lost her husband on 19th of February 2017 and this has made things difficult for her. Due to perpetual suffering, she lost one of her kids because there was no money to provide food for them. She had to sell corn drink locally known as “Brukutu” just to provide food and attend to their needs.
Others who went home happy included twenty physically challenged individuals who were blessed N150,000 through the benevolence of Bro Joshua asa well as two orphans, 19-year-old Nancy and Mary Disi who were given hope again during the service and blessed with N300,000 each. Mary who lives in Nasarawa State lost her parents in 2012 while Nancy lost hers at a very tender age of five. Both had hitherto struggled to eat, falling victims along the line to bad elements who took advantage of them. They sadly had earlier dropped out of school due to lack of funds. They were given scholarships by the man of God and a decent accommodation.
A widow also left the Sunday service in smiles after announcing some gestures which restored sunshine on her face.
Mrs. Grace Danladi, the widow who lives in Nasarawa State with her five kids, having lost her husband, Mr. Sani Danladi to a chronic disease six years ago, got N1 million and a plot of land in the City of Wonders from the man of God. A three-bedroom flat apartment was to be built and furnished for her. The church met her and her children through its outreach. At the time her husband died, her last child was one month old and since the demise of her husband, she has been finding it difficult to finance the children’s needs through school and also feed them. She washes clothes as a vocation and earns a paltry N3,000 from this every month. Her five children also attracted the sympathy from the man of God who placed them scholarship up to the university level.
A helpless widow who attended the Service of Stars at the Champions City of Wonders was also blessedwith a cash gift of N200,000. The man of God also announced scholarship award to four of the widow’s six children for life.
The turnaround came for the woman and her family members at the church service which held at its headquarters on Sunday, 8th of April 2018. Having lost her husband five years back, the woman had been catering for herself and her six children without help from anywhere. She neither had a job nor any means of taking care of them, to an extent that she would be contemplating suicide.
However, help came unexpectedly when Bro Joshua Iginla, who has penchant for touching lives, located her through prophecy during the service and offered her what could pass as a lifeline.
After she lost her husband, there were lots of unfulfilled promises from family, friends and sympathizers which left her helpless and wretched.
Her eldest child had completed his education but could not go further due to lack of funds while two of his siblings had to take refuge with her friends in an effort to ease the burden on her. In fact, it has been from affliction to depression ever since.
During the Moment of Prophecy, when the man of God located her, she narrated her ordeal as revealed to him by God through prophecy and explained how her husband had passed on leaving six children with her. The revered man of God prayed for her, terminating the spirit of premature deaths in the family.
A little kindness goes a long way, but this was more than the widow had bargained for. Her children would return to school without worries of paying their tuition.
Watch video here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMCB2q8EtLk&t=508m33s
Bro Joshua Iginla has been fulfilling his kingdom mandate of supporting the needy and touching. Year after year, he spends millions of naira to provide for the needy across the country.
During his birthday celebration in 2017, the pastor with a large heart had showered over N23 million on over 100 widows who are members of his church to alleviate their suffering. As he always says, he is devoted to empowering the vulnerable particularly the widows, orphans and the less privileged in the society without minding their religion, tribe or sectional inclination.
Idowu, Utin, 4 others on standby
Coach Gernot Rohr on Tuesday listed midfield enforcer Mikel John Obi, pacy winger Ahmed Musa and defenders Kenneth Omeruo and Abdullahi Shehu in a 25-man squad to prepare for the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt this summer. Six other players are on standby.
Mikel Obi, who captained the team at the FIFA World Cup finals in Russia last year summer, has not been with the group since Nigeria’s elimination from the finals after a 1-2 defeat by Argentina in Saint Petersburg. However, a recent meeting with Coach Rohr in the United Kingdom sealed his return to the three –time African champions, with the possibility of adding to his 85 international caps.
Rohr has largely kept faith with the Trojans who earned a ticket to the AFCON finals with a match to spare, with goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, defenders Leon Balogun and William Ekong, midfielders Oghenekaro Etebo and Wilfred Ndidi and forwards Odion Ighalo, Alex Iwobi and Moses Simon also on the roll-call.
He has put on standby six players, among them defenders Ikouwem Utin and Valentine Ozornwafor who have also been named in Nigeria’s final 21 for the FIFA U20 World Cup starting in Poland next week. The Franco-German tactician explained to thenff.com that he has included the two players knowing the FIFA U20 World Cup will end on 15th June, six days before the first match will be played at the AFCON.
2018 FIFA World Cup defender Bryan Idowu is also on standby, alongside Portugal –based Mikel Agu and Egypt –based Junior Ajayi, and home –based goalkeeper Theophilus Afelokhai.
All invited players and officials are to report at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Asaba on Sunday, 2nd June, ahead of the friendly with the Warriors of Zimbabwe at the Stephen Keshi Stadium on Saturday, 8th June.
The team will depart for Egypt on Sunday, 9th June aboard a chartered aircraft, set up a final training camp in the city of Ismailia and tackle Africa’s number one –ranked team, Senegal in their final pre-AFCON friendly on Sunday, 16th June.
Nigeria confront Burundi, Guinea and Madagascar in that order in Group B of the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations taking place in four Egyptian cities 21st June – 19th July.
25 EAGLES FOR AFCON 2019 CAMP
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Katsina United); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa)
Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Chidozie Awaziem (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United, England)
Midfielders: Mikel John Obi (Middlesbrough FC, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, England); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassar FC, Saudi Arabia); Victor Osimhen (Royal Charleroi SC, Belgium); Moses Simon (Levante FC, Spain); Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK, Turkey); Odion Ighalo (Shanghai Shenhua, China); Alexander Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Paul Onuachu (FC Midtjyland, Denmark); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain)
Six On Standby: Theophilus Afelokhai (Enyimba FC); Bryan Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia); Ikouwem Utin (Enyimba FC); Mikel Agu (Vitoria Setubal, Portugal); Junior Ajayi (Al Ahly, Egypt); Valentine Ozornwafor (Enyimba FC).
Femi Gbajabiamila, majority leader of the house of representatives, says he has a “comfortable lead” to become speaker in the 9th assembly.
Addressing journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, Gbajabiamila who spoke through Abdulmumin Jibrin, his campaign spokesman, said his support cuts across party lines.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) which is expected to produce the next speaker had endorsed Gbajabiamila as its choice for the position.
He was also endorsed for the position in 2015 but was eventually beaten to it by Yakubu Dogara.
Gbajabiamila said he is also consulting with his colleagues in the APC who are in the race with the hope to win them over before the election.
He said: “Now we have the numbers to win the election on June 10. We have applied different kind of modules to weigh our numbers. In all the instances we have applied, we have arrived at a very comfortable number that will win us the eleciton. We have gotten all the numbers we require.
“We also have large number of members from PDP and other opposition parties. Femi and (Mohammed) Wase are foing to run all inclusive house. We believe we will get PDP and others to join the train.
“If not for the fact that we have to keep our guards, we would have asked my colelagues to go and sleep and come back in June, that victory is ours. But we are not taking anything for granted.
Jibrin said Dogara who is of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is also being lobbied to ensure a “common ground”.
According to him, “we are also lobbying the incumbent speaker. We appreciate the value he can bring on board. He has a support base and controls a particular bloc of the house.
“We have opened up negotiations with him and we are pretty sure because of the love he has for this parliament, we will reach a common ground.”