Most Nigerian banks are fast becoming an unsafe haven for keeping money and other valuables. Thus, the 21st-century daytime executive robbery is the new trend harnessing every nook and cranny in the finest country’s financial sector.
Many will agree that despite the Nigerian banking sector becoming one of the world’s fastest-growing institutions, it is getting flagged. Statistically, there are thousands of abnormalities trailing the success story rubbing the integrity of the institution.
The bank is hoping to be the last resort for securing people’s valuable against armed robbers, fraudsters, swindlers, etcetera; however, it is fast becoming the 21st-century daytime executive robbery.
In recent times, people are aware of the risk in keeping money at home, yet, you’d preferred to put your money at home because it is becoming more tasking to risk-taking your money to banks. Are you astonished as I’m?
In a corresponding capacity, let me set forth details of some obvious secrets that many Nigerian banks conceal revealing using their year-in-year-out (YOY) financial statements. Many reported cases of fraud and forgeries disarming banks to (unwittily) gave up billions of naira to fraud; however, this sheds light on some of the very financial institutions Nigerians entrusted their valuables in the modern age.
Typically, if banking dinosaurs still exist in our modern world, you would have agreed that you could barely make traces of gross financial misconduct across the Nigerian banking sectors. However, in this 21st century, some unforgivable errors are still recorded from giants banks.
Most of the time, through breach of banks’ security system. The bank security system may be either weak, poor, or not up to the world industry standards.
21st Century Daylight Robbery: Rising Insecurity In The Nigerian Banking Sector
For reference’s sake, there is no curse without a cause. On the 21st of February 2020, Zenith Bank PLC released its financial statement for 2019, and the report containing fraud and forgery was disturbing. The bank recorded a sum of ₦1,212,776,438 billion loss due to fraud and forgeries in 2019. More worrying, the staff perpetrated fraud accounted for 82.44% of the total loss.
Evidently, the staff perpetrated a fraud for the financial year 2018 accounted for only 67% of the total fraud case of the same bank. Other sources of fraud and forgeries familiar with Zenith Bank are stolen/forged instruments, impersonation, internet banking fraud, ATM fraud, among others.
Brand Spur Nigeria recalls that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arranged some staff of Fidelity Bank, UBA, and their accomplices who siphoned multimillion naira.
In 2019, Fidelity Bank lost about N1.362 billion to Fraud and Forgery, the figure disclosed in its financial reports. In the preceeding year, the bank lost N330.7 billion to Fraud and Forgery.
There was a reduction in cases of fraud and forgery, the total loss incurred by the financial sector rose more than 200%. Although the actual loss for 2019 stood at N337.3 million (337,355,205) as against N104million (104,321,657) lost in 2018. The financial institution barely reveals the numbers of its staff that were involved in partaking in the heinous actions.
Moving on, in 2020, Wema Bank Recorded 1,056 cases Of Fraud and Forgeries, sacrificing about ₦168.77 million to feed the anonymous.
Funnily enough, among the recorded cases, the bank staff recorded 11% of the total loss. In comparison, staff involvement in 1,056 incidents of fraud for 2019 was 14 cases; the total amount involved was ₦168.77 million and $3,100, and this resulted in the actual loss of ₦96.53 million and $3,100.
Alongside, Access Bank recorded cases of fraudulent transfers and withdrawals that occurred 38 times in 2019. It resulted in the ousted sum of ₦122,120,354 that accumulated 36.43% of the total loss for the financial sector. Cash theft and suppression occurred 73 times and resulted in the loss of ₦100,443,185, valued at about 29.96% of the total loss.
Similarly, a former member of staff of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) alleged to have swindled five customers of the bank about ₦15 million. The staff member of UBA, Monday Sule Ilemona, conned the customers through the marketing of a UBA Target Account. Alas, the customers lost to the fraudster. Despite outcries of the victims, to date, the bank has said nothing to counter the claim by the Foundation of Investigative Journalism.
Are Nigerian Banks Safe Havens Shielding Fraudsters?
In furtherance to back my points on how the financial institution is marred with frauds and forgeries with some forces within (staffers) and other forces (co-conspirators—fraudsters) are handicapping the better image of the institution into slavery and servitude at this age in our clime, placing Nigerian financial institutions’ integrity to appear as intractable backwardness.
Ⓒ Adebayo Ahmad is a data insight researcher and analyst, an opinion writer, journalist, brand researcher and Public Relations Practitioner.