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UBA Faces Allegations of Fraudulent Diversion of N3.9 Billion NSEI Funds, Unveils CBN Investigator’s Report

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In a startling revelation, CBN Special Investigator Jim Obazee exposes United Bank for Africa (UBA), under the leadership of Tony Elumelu, for alleged fraudulent diversion of N3.9 billion intended for participation in the Nigerian Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility (NSEI). The comprehensive report places the responsibility on UBA’s Managing Directors from 2015 to the present, recommending the reimbursement of the funds in question.The investigation, dating back to 2015 when the CBN, under former Governor Godwin Emefiele, established the Special Purpose Vehicle NESI Stabilisation Strategy Limited, reveals a lack of policy directive or approval from then-President Goodluck Jonathan.Initially sanctioned as a limited guarantee fund to address electricity sector challenges over a decade, the fund encountered unforeseen hurdles in its realization.According to the Obazee Report, UBA stands accused, among the selected commercial banks, of surreptitiously absconding with N3.9 billion, disregarding NESI provisions. The report contends that UBA failed to implement proposals aligned with the initial purpose, making it the bank implicated in the highest amount of the alleged fraudulent activity.The report specifically accuses UBA of manipulation, asserting that the bank unlawfully arranged and received a share of the 1.9535% designated for participation in the Nigerian Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility. External Auditor’s reports, integral to NESI Stabilisation Strategy Limited’s Financial Statements, corroborate payments to UBA proportional to its contribution to NEMSF disbursement, substantiating the allegations of fraudulent activities. The CBN investigator calls for a thorough examination of UBA’s actions and the prompt return of the misappropriated funds.

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Banking and Finance

Union Bank Achieves Another Milestone; Attains MSECB ISO 27001:2022, 20000-1:2018 and 22301 Certifications

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Lagos, Nigeria — Union Bank, one of Nigeria’s foremost and most trusted financial institutions, has announced another significant achievement with its attainment of the MSECB management system certifications in ISO/IEC 27001:2022, ISO 22301:2019, and ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018.

The Bank was awarded these three noteworthy certifications by MSECB, a leading international provider of audit and certification services, after being rigorously assessed and found to be in accordance with the management system requirements covering Information Security, IT Service Delivery, and Business Continuity standards under the combined Information Management Systems (IMS) standards.

The information security management systems ISO/IEC 27001:2022, ISO 22301:2019, and ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018 are internationally recognised standards that outline the requirements for establishing an effective information management system that guides against data breaches, IT system compromises, and disruption to business processes.

These latest certifications will enable the bank to continue to offer its customers improved data security, innovative banking solutions, and seamless service delivery through its state-of-the-art banking network.

Commenting on the Bank’s recent attainment, Chief Information Security Officer at Union Bank, Francis Mojoyinlola, said: “The Bank’s continued adherence to best international practices, as acknowledged by an independent third-party audit from a reputable international certification firm, reaffirms our capacity to erect, implement, and maintain best information and security management practices.

We remain committed to offering our esteemed customers simpler, more innovative services rooted in the highest standards of information security and cutting-edge innovative banking service.”

MSECB Management System Incorporated, or simply MSECB, is a reputable international organisation specialising in the certification of management systems based on a wide range of global standards.

They offer audit and certification services and expertise in multiple fields, including, but not limited to, Information Security, Quality Management, Business Continuity, and Service Management. They help guide, evaluate, and issue various organisations’ certifications against internationally recognised standards.

Their mission is to provide their clients with comprehensive services that inspire trust and demonstrate recognition.

This recent achievement by Union Bank follows the bank’s recertification of Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) version 3.2 and the International Organisation for Standardisation ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification attained in 2018.

This further highlights Union Bank’s commitment to the strictest information management security standards while securing its pride of place as one of Nigeria’s most trusted financial institutions.

Established in 1917 and listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1971, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc. is a household name and one of Nigeria’s long-standing and most respected financial institutions.

The Bank is a trusted and recognisable brand, with an extensive network of over 300 branches across Nigeria.

The Bank currently offers a variety of banking services to both individual and corporate clients including current, savings and deposit account services, funds transfer, foreign currency domiciliation, loans, overdrafts, equipment leasing and trade finance.

The Bank also offers its customers convenient electronic banking channels and products, including Online Banking, Mobile Banking, Debit Cards, ATMs and POS Systems.

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Banking and Finance

Court Sends FCMB Branch Manager To 121 Years Imprisonment For Embezzling Customers Fund

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FCMB is a leading financial institution in Nigeria has received a big shock of the year as one of its staff has been thrown to prison for fraud and embezzlement.

Mr Nwachukwu Placidus

Justice S. Odili at the Anambra State High Court in Onitsha, Anambra State, sentenced Mr Nwachukwu Placidus, a bank manager at First City Monument Bank FCMB, Onitsha Anambra State to 121 years in prison for embezzling N112 million from a customer’s fixed deposit account.Mr Nwachukwu PlacidusThe Honorable justices delivered the verdict resulting in the conviction and sentencing of a former manager at the First City Monument Bank’s branch in Onitsha, who has now been sentenced to a total of 121 years in prison for misappropriating fixed deposit funds totaling N112,100,000 from a customer for personal use. This is tantamount to a breach of trust by the former manager which has attracted a huge jail term.

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Banking and Finance

Fidelity Bank records a 120.1% growth in PBT to N39.5bn in Q1 2024

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Lagos, Nigeria, May 2, 2024: In line with its upward growth trajectory, leading financial institution, Fidelity Bank Plc, has posted an impressive 120.1% growth in Profit Before Tax from N17.9bn at the end of Q1 2023 to N39.5bn for Q1 2024. This was made known in the Bank’s unaudited financial statements released on the issuer portal of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) on Tuesday, 30 April 2024.

According to the statement, Gross Earnings increased by 89.9% yoy to N192.1bn from N101.1bn in Q1 2023. The increase was led by a combination of interest income (90.7% yoy) and non-interest income (84.0% yoy). Growth in interest income was primarily spurred by a higher yield environment and strong earning assets base, while the increase in non-interest income was led by double-digit growth in account maintenance charges, FX-related income, trade, banking services, and remittances, supported by increased customer transactions.

Commenting on the results, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, MD/CEO, Fidelity Bank Plc stated, “We are pleased to report another quarter of strong financial performance driven by our strategic focus on customer-centricity, digital innovation and operational excellence. Despite the challenging macroeconomic environment, we remained resilient and agile, delivering double-digit growth on key income lines while advancing our business sustainability agenda.”

In the period under review, the bank grew Net interest income grew by 89.5% yoy to N99.6bn from N52.6bn in Q1 2023, driven by interest and similar income as the yield on financial instruments improved to 14.7% from 10.1% in Q1 2023 (2023FY: 11.6%). In line with the steady rise in interest rates through the year, average funding cost increased by 80bps ytd to 5.2%. However, NIM came in at 8.8%

compared to 8.1% in 2023FY, as increased yield on earning assets surpassed funding cost to 15.1% from 13.3% in Q1 2023 (2023FY: 13.5%).

Similarly, Total Deposits increased by 17.2% ytd to N4.7tn from N4.0tn in 2023FY, driven by double-digit growth across all deposit types (demand, savings and term). Net Loans and Advances increased by 21.2% to N3.7tn from N3.1tn in 2023FY.

“Beginning the year on this inspiring note reaffirms our strategy of helping individuals to grow, inspiring businesses to thrive and empowering economies to prosper. We are committed to our guidance as we build a more resilient business franchise with a well-diversified earnings base in 2024,” explained Onyeali-Ikpe.

Ranked as one of the best banks in Nigeria, Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged customer commercial bank with over 8.5 million customers serviced across its 251 business offices in Nigeria and the United Kingdom as well as on digital banking channels.

The bank has won multiple local and international awards including the Export Finance Bank of the Year at the 2023 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards, the Best Payment Solution Provider Nigeria 2023 and Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking and Finance Awards; Best Bank for SMEs in Nigeria by the Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2023; and Best Domestic Private Bank in Nigeria by the Euromoney Global Private Banking Awards 2023.

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