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Fidelity Bank MD Not On The Run – Bank

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Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo

Fidelity Bank Plc has said that Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, its managing director/CEO, has not jumped bail, clarifying that he was on a sick leave.

 

The bank in a statement expressed shock at the online media report, stressing that it was a “responsible corporate citizen and staff members, including the MD/CEO, conduct their operations in line with the laws of the Federation”.

 

The statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to recent online media re¬ports that Fidelity Bank MD/CEO has jumped bail. The reports are completely untrue and the facts of the matter are hereby presented as follows;

 

“The MD/CEO has been away on medical leave, which was duly approved by the Board, since December 4, 2018.

 

“The Bank informed the CBN Governor of this development as the MD/CEO was unable to attend the annual Bankers Committee retreat held between December 8 & 9, 2018, on ac¬count of this. An Executive Director represented the bank.

 

“The Bank received a letter from the EFCC about 48 hours ago, requesting for the attention of the MD/CEO.

 

The Bank responded to the EFCC immediately that the MD/CEO was on medical vacation and gave an indicative date that he will report to the Commission.

 

“The Bank also attached the following documents to the response; the leave approval by the Board Chair¬man and the letter sent to the CBN Governor on the inability of the MD/CEO to attend the Bankers Committee retreat”.

The bank continued: “We are therefore shocked by the misleading reports in the online media and have provided the above clarifications to set the records straight.

 

“Fidelity Bank is a responsible corporate citizen and staff members, including the MD/CEO, conduct their operations in line with the laws of the Federation”, it concluded.

 

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E-Financial

Banks Set Up Special Funds for ICT, Other Sectors

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Bankers Committee has said it is setting aside special funds to provide capacity and support to the creative and the ICT industries.

 

The initiative will be funded from at least 5 percent of the Agriculture/SME Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) fund.

 

The AGSMEIS is a special fund that sees the banks’ reserve 5 percent of their profits after tax to fund agriculture and small businesses.

 

The fund was tipped to reach N90bn by the end of 2018.

 

Briefing journalists at the end of 342nd Bankers Committee meeting held in Abuja Mr. Herbert Wigwe, MD/CEO Access Bank, said the intervention would be specially set aside for the music, movies, fashion and ICT sectors.

 

“The Bankers Committee after a lot research identified the ICT and the creative sectors as critical sectors to support social and inclusive growth in Nigeria. We found out that that sector will generate significant amount of jobs and contribute to GDP growth’’ he said while explaining the reasons for the direct interventions in those areas.

 

He also said that the funding would be under a reasonable interest rate and structure until they become profitable, adding that hopefully Nigeria should begin to see the impact in the next quarter.

 

Also commenting, Dr. Mudashiru Olaitan, director Development Finance, CBN, said with the support, the 37 million MSMEs in Nigeria will be able to support more jobs.

 

The Bankers Committee is also looking at providing shared power facilities to power the MSMEs for productivity he said adding that already the pilots have commenced in Aba, Kano, Lagos and Ibadan.

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E-Financial

FIRS Lifts Ban on Bank Accounts of Tax Defaulters

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Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has written to banks, directing them to lift the lien on tax defaulters’ bank accounts for 30 days.

 

The directive, which takes immediate effect, was contained in a letter from Tunde Fowler, chairman, FIRS, to bank managing directors.

 

The FIRS explained that it issued the directive because of the large number of taxpayers, who have besieged its offices in their bid to regularize their tax positions and the inconveniences they are going through.

 

In September 2018, Tunde Fowler, FIRS chairman, said the service was going after 6,772 tax defaulters, stating that they would have their account frozen till they pay due taxes.

 

“So, all these ones of TIN and no pay and no TIN and no pay, to the total of 6772 will have their accounts frozen or put under substitution pending when they come forward,” Fowler had said.

 

KPMG, one of the Big Four auditors in the world, said on Thursday that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has gone draconian by giving fiats to banks to freeze accounts of suspected tax defaulters.

 

KPMG said “nothing in the CITA or FIRSEA authorises the FIRS to impose a freeze order on a taxpayer’s bank account beyond the amount of tax proven to be due and payable by that taxpayer”.

 

It added that the move was in contravention of CITA, and breaches the confidentiality between the banks and their clients.

 

“Generally, a bank has a fiduciary obligation to maintain the confidentiality of its customers and their transactions, and to prevent third-party access to the customers’ account information,” KPMG had said.

 

 

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E-Financial

CBN Orders Banks to Send Politically Exposed Persons Data to NIBSS

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Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Micro-Finance Banks (MFBs) and other financial institutions to send data fields on Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) as part of the Industry Customer Account Database (ICAD) submitted to the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS).

 

Mr. Dipo Fatokun, director, Banking Services Department, in circular posted on its website, said that the need for the additional information was due to: “the growing demand for more detailed information on bank accounts, for economic intelligence analysis.”

The CBN stated: “Please recall that the Management of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directed all the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to forward customers account details in a specified format to the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), with a view to maintaining an Industry Customer Account Database (!CAD). The initiative contributed immensely towards improving the efficiency and safety of electronic payments in Nigeria.

 

“In view of the growing demand for more detailed information on bank accounts, for economic intelligence analysis, it has become necessary to expand the coverage of the required data on customers’ accounts. Consequently, two new data fields, covering Politically Exposed Person – PEP (Y/Nl and Sector code have been added to the existing fields on ICAD. “

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