Published On: Mon, Jun 16th, 2014



The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have linked the successes of fraudsters in Nigeria to bank officials/employees’ approach in the fight against fraud.

These institutions that were unanimous in their submission at the 2014 compliance conference of the Committee of Chief Compliance Officers of Banks in Nigeria (CCCOBIN), noted the need for banks to raise their ante towards exposing fraudsters and their transactions.

Adebayo Adelabu, CBN deputy governor in charge of financial system stability, said at the conference that, “We need to expose fraudsters. We should not forget the impact on our reputation as a nation. We are not helping ourselves and we are not helping our nation if we continue to hide fraudsters and their transactions.”

Adelabu, who represented Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, said at the conference with the theme, ‘Fraud and corruption: the role of banks and other corporate entities –to boost the safety and soundness of the financial sector’, said that while fraud and corruption are international in coverage, their incidence has become predominant in third world countries including Nigeria as a result of perverse incentives.

He said: “Bank officials/employees connive with fraudsters to defraud banks. If bank officials cooperate in the fight against fraud, there will be significant reduction in the level of fraud cases. Undue recognition of wealth in very indecent ways encourages fraud. Lack of cooperation among stakeholders is another factor, and inadequate transaction reporting, and many others.”

With the benefits of compliance outweighing the costs to financial institutions, countries are becoming increasingly aware that fight against the economic vices is a tough task that requires honest and collective efforts of agencies, individuals and corporate bodies.
CCCOBIN is example of operator-regulator partnership recognised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as part of the resource bodies for capacity building in compliance as stated in the CBN competency framework for fit and proper persons regime.

Adeola Odetunde, head of bank fraud, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), who represented Ibrahim Lamorde, chairman, EFCC, noted: “Fraud and corruption has become an epidemic in our country and globally. Fraud cannot be perpetrated without cooperation of banks. Banks make these activities of fraudsters a success.”

Olugbenga Mabu, who represented Ahmadu Giade, executive chairman, NDLEA, noted that “the target of transnational organised criminals is through banks. We are assuring you of our continuous corporation. Drug money that is laundered is also fuelling terrorists financing.”

Mabu noted that banks should step up their fight against fraud, noting that “a criminal is always a step ahead.”

Also at the conference, Mohammed Abubakar, who represented Umaru Ibrahim, managing director/CEO, NDIC, said that in their role in insuring depositors’ money, series of complaints they receive recently have to do with cyber crime.

The Global Economic Crime Survey of 2014 by PWC Global reiterated the fact that economic crimes such as fraud, identity and password (IP) infringement, corruption and cyber crime or accounting fraud have damaged the reputation and integrity of financial institutions and also discouraged honest investors with adverse consequences on the economies of such countries.

Also, in the 12th Global Fraud Survey, ‘Growing Beyond: a place for integrity,’ bribery and corruption remain pervasive. On a global basis, 39% of respondents reported that bribery or corrupt practices occur frequently in their countries. The challenge is even greater in rapid-growth markets where majority of respondents believe these practices are common.


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