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CBN, NIBSS Move To Unify Payments Through National Domestic Card Scheme January 2023

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday announced the introduction of a National Domestic Card Scheme which is effective January 16, 2023.

The move is aimed at promoting stability, inclusion, and growth in the financial and payment system and will be delivered through the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) Plc, which is the country’s central switch, in conjunction with the Bankers Committee and other financial ecosystem stakeholders.

The card scheme was also expected to foster innovation within the Nigerian domestic market, while enabling African and international interoperability, allowing banks and other institutions to offer a variety of solutions including debit, credit, virtual, loyalty, and tokenized cards amongst others.

Nigeria remains Africa’s largest and most vibrant economy and the pace of digitization and innovation, alongside the expansion of mobile penetration and the proactive policy initiatives of the CBN have driven the accelerated adoption of digital financial services.
Considering the strength and breadth of its banking sector and the rapid growth and transformation of its payments system over the last decade, Nigeria is ideally positioned to successfully launch a national card scheme.

Building on this platform to accelerate financial inclusion requires infrastructure that can deliver lower-cost payment services that are more accessible and affordable for Nigerians.

The central bank, in a statement issued by CBN Director, Corporate Communications, Mr. Osita Nwanisobi, pointed out that the scheme could also be leveraged as a platform for the seamless dissemination of government-to-person payments and other social impact initiatives, enhancing financial access and supporting the growth of a robust and inclusive digital economy.

The bank also said domesticating the card scheme would further enhance data sovereignty, enabling the development of locally relevant products and services and reducing demands on foreign exchange.

Nigeria joins a growing list of countries including India, Turkey, China, and Brazil as leading examples – which have launched domestic card schemes and harnessed the transformative benefits for their respective payments and financial systems, particularly for the underbanked.

Osita said, “The CBN recognizes the significant benefits from delivering Africa’s first central bank-driven, domestic card scheme, which, when delivered at scale, has the potential to become the largest in Africa, and one of the largest in the world.”

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UNN Suspends, Probes Lecturer For ‘Attempting To Sexually Assault’ Student

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A lecturer known as Mfonobong Udoudom has been suspended by the University of Nigeria (UNN) for what it called an “inappropriate affair” with a student.

Viral videos surfaced on Tuesday showing the senior lecturer of general studies pacing around his office in his pants, looking visibly alarmed.

Sources at the university said that the lecturer was “caught pants down attempting to have sex with a married female student of the school.”

According to the sources, Udoudom had a long-standing custom of “passing female students only after sleeping with them.”

He was accused of forcing a female student to understand that she would fail his course unless she agreed to have sex with him.

One of the sources, under anonymity, said the female student planned with her husband to entrap the lecturer while working with UNN security and other students.

The student source further said the security agents forcefully broke into his office and caught the lecturer “in action.”.

“It was planned out with her husband and security agents at the school. The female was made to approach the lecturer to offer him money in order to scale through his course. He refused and insisted he needed to have sexual intercourse with her in his office,” the source said.

“When the lady succumbed to his demands and asked him to undress, he was caught wearing only boxers.”

In the now-viral footage, a witness is heard saying, “We have been following this case from day one. We have all the chats, voice notes, video calls, and every conversation he had with the female student.”.

When contacted, UNN management told TheCable that Udoudom has now been suspended.

Okwun Omeaku, UNN’s acting media spokesperson, said the senior lecturer will be made to face the staff disciplinary panel.

“The indefinite suspension is with immediate effect pending the outcome of a disciplinary panel constituted by the university to investigate the incident,” he said.

“UNN has a zero tolerance for sexual misconduct involving our staff and students.

“We are committed to protecting our students from any form of abuse and exploitation. The university management will not hesitate to punish Mr. Mfonobong David Udoudom according to our rules if he is found guilty.”

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Yahaya Bello Took $720k From State Treasury To Pay His Child’s School Fees — EFCC Chairman Olukoyede

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) chairman, Ola Olukoyede, claims that Yahaya Bello, the former governor of Kogi, took out $720,000 to cover his child’s upfront school fees.

Olukoyede made this known in Abuja on Tuesday during an interactive session with media executives.

The head of EFCC claimed that the former governor of Kogi transferred funds to a bureau de change operator and utilised them to pay his child’s school fees ahead of time.

Olukoyede added that Bello made the payment in anticipation that his tenure was gradually coming to an end.

“A sitting governor, because he knew he was leaving office, moved money directly from the government to bureau de change and used it to pay his child’s school fee in advance,” the EFCC boss said.

“Over $720,000 in anticipation that he was going to leave the government house. In a poor state like Kogi, you want me to close my eyes under the guise of ‘I’m being used’. Used by who? At this stage of my life.”

Olukoyede said he inherited the case file of the former Kogi governor, noting that he did not initiate the investigation against Bello.

On April 17, EFCC operatives laid siege on Bello’s residence in Abuja to arrest him over alleged N80 billion fraud.

While the EFCC operatives were at Bello’s residence, Usman Ododo, governor of Kogi, came to visit his predecessor.

Shortly after Ododo departed from the residence, the EFCC operatives also left the house.

Bello was reportedly rescued by Ododo when he departed his residence located in the Wuse Zone 4 district of Abuja.

Subsequently, the anti-graft agency declared the former governor wanted.

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has also placed Bello on a watchlist.

The anti-graft agency alleged that Bello, alongside Alli Bello, chief of staff to Ododo; and one Daudu Suleiman, diverted about N80.2 billion belonging to the Kogi government.

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I’ll Tender Resignation If Yahaya Bello Is Not Prosecuted — EFCC Chairman Olukoyede

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The chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ola Olukoyede, has threatened to resign if he does not bring Yahaya Bello, the former governor of Kogi State, to justice.

Olukoyede gave a speech in Abuja on Tuesday during an engaging conversation with media executives.

“If I do not personally oversee the completion of the investigation regarding Yahaya Bello, I will tender my resignation as the EFCC chair,” he said.

The EFCC boss also vowed that everyone involved in obstructing Bello’s arrest from his Abuja residence will face the full wrath of the law.

He also said he invited Bello to his office for a more respectful and dignified interrogation, but that the ex-governor wanted EFCC operatives to grill him in his village instead.

“I called Yahaya Bello, as a serving governor, to come to my office to clear himself. I shouldn’t have done that,” he said.

“But he said that because a certain senator has planted over 100 journalists in my office, he would not come.

“I told him that he would be allowed to use my private gate to give him a cover, but he said my men should come to his village to interrogate him.”

Olukoyede said the EFCC did not violate any law while trying to arrest the former governor from his residence.

“Rather, we have obeyed the law. I inherited the case and I didn’t create it. Why has he not submitted himself to the law?” he asked.

“I have arraigned two past governors who have been granted bail now—WWillie Obiano and Abdulfatah Ahmed.

“We would have gone after Bello since January but we waited for the court order.

“As early as 7 am, my gallant men were there. Over 50 of them. They mounted surveillance.

“We met over 30 armed policemen there. We would have exchanged fire and there would have been casualties.

“My men were about to move in when the governor of Kogi drove in and they later changed the narrative.”

He vowed that all those who have dipped their hands into the public till would be investigated and prosecuted.

“If I can do Obiano, Abdulfatah Ahmed and Chief Olu Agunloye, my kinsman, why not Yahaya Bello?” Olukoyede said.

The EFCC is prosecuting Bello on 19 counts bordering on alleged money laundering and misappropriation of public funds to the tune of N80.2 billion.

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