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Olukoyede tasks Bank auditors on tackling financial crimes



Olukoyede tasks Bank auditors on tackling financial crimes
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The Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ola Olukoyede has called on Audit Executives in banks across the country to be more vigilant and assertive in tackling financial crimes in the banking sector.

He gave the charge in Abuja on Monday, March 4, 2024 at the 2024 Annual retreat of the Association of Chief Audit Executives of Banks in Nigeria, ACAEBI. The EFCC’s boss frowned at the raft of fraudulent activities associated with the local banking industry and charged bank auditors to do more in sanitizing and strengthening the financial sector and growing the economy.

The EFCC boss who spoke through Director, Internal Audit of the Commission, Idowu Oluwole-Apejoye, further noted that banking fraud across the country often has either insider or outsider enablers.

“Broadly speaking, banking fraud in Nigeria is both insider and outsider-related. The insider-related fraud comprises outright stealing of customers deposits’ authorized loan facilities, forgery and several other kinds of unhealthy and criminal practices. The outsider-related ones include hacking, Automated Teller Machine, ATM, fraud, conspiracy among others. And the absurd one is when there is collaboration between the both of them,” he said.

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The EFCC boss also pointed out that an estimated 70 per cent of financial crimes in Nigeria is traceable to the banking sector and called for concerted efforts by relevant authorities and professionals, especially bank auditors to prevent and detect fraudulent practices in the industry.

He called for a fusion of preventive and detective measures for effective outcomes and cost management of bank frauds, noting that bank auditors were crucial in the fight against economic and financial crimes “as gatekeepers on responsible financial conduct, adherence to regulations, and effective functioning of the financial services industry”.

Olukoyede sought for more collaboration from bank auditors with the EFCC. “As you retreat, use this opportunity to review developments in the financial sector of our nation and offer sound recommendations to the EFCC on how the rising cases of financial crimes can be curbed in our banks. I also call on you to always approach the Commission on any issue that you consider germane in addressing corruption not only in the financial sector but in all other areas of life in our dear country,” he said.

The EFCC’s charge sparked a plethora of questions and enquiries on the operational works of the EFCC, with many of the Audit Executives relaying their experiences about fraud investigations by the Commission.  Apejoye rose to the occasion and called for better engagement of the professionals with the Commission.  “We should all be ready to play our parts in tackling the monster of corruption in the banking sector. Collaboration and cooperation with the EFCC will boost all efforts at breaking the fang of fraudulent practices in the sector”, she said.