Below are the headlines found on The Guardian Online Newspaper for today, Monday, 12 March, 2018.

Mon, 12 Mar 2018
The cases of fraud are rising in the nation’s banking industry, prompting a resolve by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) to investigate affected banks.
In a statement, NDIC reported a 56. 3 per cent jump in reported cases from 16,751 in 2016 to 26,132 in 2017, resulting in the loss of N2.37 billion.

The corporation lamented failure by the banks to file returns reporting their officials involved in the fraudulent practices throughout last year to the regulatory authorities. The number of staff involved in the malpractice also grew from 231 in 2016 to 320 in 2017.

Consequently, the NDIC is set to investigate some banks for the inadequate rendition of returns, particularly on instances of forgeries and other cases of fraud involving members of staff who had their appointments terminated on grounds of fraudulent activities. 

Sections 35 and 36 of the NDIC Act No. 16 of 2006 (as amended) requires all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to submit monthly information/returns on forgeries and other forms of fraud to the corporation.  

The Head of Communications and Public Affairs Unit of NDIC, Mr. Mohammed Kudu Ibrahim, said the planned investigation followed the discovery from the corporation’s most recent report on its off-site supervision of the DMBs that the number of fraud cases attributed to internal abuse by staff of banks increased from 231 in 2016 to 320 in 2017, or 38.53% above the figure reported for the previous year. 

He said the report relied on a total of 286 responses received from 26 banks during the period under review.

Ibrahim shed more light on the outcome of the off-site supervision: “The 286 responses received from banks in 2017 cited 26,182 cases of fraud and forgeries which is 56.30% higher compared to 16,751 cases reported in 2016.

Similarly, the amount involved in the fraudulent activities documented increased by N3.33 billion from the N8.68 billion reported in 2016 to N12.01 billion in 2017 or 38%.

However, the Expected/Actual loss slightly decreased by N24.42 million or 1.03% from N2.39 billion in 2016 to N2.37 billion in 2017.” 

On fraudulent activities in the online-banking and ATM/card-related fraud-types, Ibrahim said it constituted 24,266 or 92.68% of all the reported cases, resulting in N1.51 billion or 63.66% loss in the industry in 2017.

The report also documented other miscellaneous crimes such as fraudulent transfers/withdrawals, cash suppression, unauthorised credits, fraudulent conversion of cheques, diversion of customer deposits, diversion of bank charges, presentation of forged or stolen cheques, among others. 

The 22 licensed commercial banks and four merchant banks rendered 286 returns on dismissed/terminated staff as a result of fraud and forgeries during the year under review. Out of the 26,182 fraud cases reported by the 26 licensed banks, 320 cases were attributable to internal collaboration by bank staff.

However, the losses arising from the reported cases decreased from N760 million in 2016 to N682 million or about 11.43% in 2017.  The corporation attributed the improvement to additional internal control measures adopted by the banks in the wake of the proactive corrective measures taken to ensure their compliance with good corporate governance principles. 

But the report said despite the fidelity insurance cover taken by banks to address fraud perpetrated by staff, they still needed to enhance their internal control and security measures, as the rising trend of e-channels (online banking & card-related) fraud and forgeries in the industry remained a serious cause for concern to the corporation.

Army reads riot act on murders in Benue, Taraba states, others
Mon, 12 Mar 2018
The Nigerian Army has warned perpetrators of the killings and destruction of property in Adamawa, Benue and Taraba states to desist forthwith, saying the Rules Of Engagement (ROE) against arson and murder were to apply henceforth.
In a statement by the Director Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen Texas Chukwu yesterday, the military said it was working with other security agencies to ensure that the perpetrators were brought to book.

The statement reads in part: “The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to the continued disturbing, senseless killings and wanton destruction of properties in Adamawa, Benue and Taraba states. 

“In view of this, we strongly warn the perpetrators of these crimes to desist forthwith. The Nigerian Army, in conjunction with sister services and other security agencies, is working assiduously to identify and arrest all those involved regardless of their disposition in the society, including government functionaries.  

“We would like to unequivocally reiterate that the Army Headquarters warns the arsonists and killers to stop or face decisive action by troops.  

“Our Rules of Engagement (ROE) is clear on arson and murder, therefore, no such criminal acts would be allowed in any of the aforementioned states.”

In a related development, Governor Simon Lalong has directed security agents to fish out and prosecute those behind the recent attacks on some communities in Plateau State.

Suspected herdsmen had invaded some settlements in Bassa and Bikkos council areas of the state, killing no fewer than 24 persons and injuring scores.

He said: “The state will not condone the activities of hoodlums who take advantage of conflicts among citizens to perpetrate killings and destruction of property in the name of ethnic crisis. Any attempt to frustrate peace initiatives in any form will be resisted.”

The governor noted that differences were better resolved through dialogue, warning that “the state will not fold its arms and watch the enemies of Plateau take it back to the dark old days when citizens distrust one another.”

Mon, 12 Mar 2018
Nigeria, on March 8, joined the rest of the world to celebrate the World Kidney Day (WKD). A day set aside to raise awareness on the plight of people living with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and how to better prevent, treat and manage the 'incurable condition.' CHUKWUMA MUANYA (Assistant Editor) and OLUWATOSIN AREO write. Tina [] 

Mon, 12 Mar 2018
The 2019 general election holds a lot in store for Southeast politics. Although predominantly a seeming safe base for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), there are indications that voter preferences would not follow the usual pattern of near bandwagon allegiance to party platforms. Some active politicians have been looking at the overwhelming voter inclination towards [] 

Mon, 12 Mar 2018
Capital market experts, at the weekend renewed calls for the Federal Government to review the nation's tax system, and reduce excessive taxes especially on listed firms, and encourage more investment into the market. Besides, they stressed the need to address Nigeria's security challenges, and economic instability to guarantee safety of investment. The stakeholders, who spoke [] 

Mon, 12 Mar 2018
The Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff says it has identified and compiled names of firms and individuals who are behind the persistent smuggling of rice across the country. It also said the comprehensive report would soon be laid before the Senate plenary for consideration and further legislative action. Chairman of the committee, Hope [] 

Mon, 12 Mar 2018
Except the emerging uncertainties associated with 2018 budget, delay in the confirmation of Monetary Policy Committee members and social unrest targeted at the agriculture sector are settled, all positive economic forecasts now may amount to nothing. A report by FSDH Merchant Bank Limited has noted that some investors are gradually adopting a 'wait and [] 

Mon, 12 Mar 2018
I didn't know him. He didn't know who I was. But he saw clearly that I was in desperate need of help. A life was at stake. This rare soul, an uncommon fetching symbol of hope intervened and saved a life at the gate of death. It took 26 years for me to unravel this [] 
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