On Wednesday, July 3, 2019, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) opened a new ultra-modern branch in Ile-Ife, Osun State. The new branch is located at 3, Akarabata Layout (along Lagere Road), Ile-Ife. The development is in line with the Bank’s strategic expansion drive and commitment towards bringing its banking services closer to the doorsteps of more people and businesses, while also promoting financial inclusion in Nigeria. This brings to 3 the number of branches of FCMB in Osun state and 206 nationwide.
The location of the branch had taken into consideration convenience for residents and businesses in Ile-Ife and neighbouring towns in the State. Apart from the experienced financial experts deployed to the branch, it is equipped with unique physical and technological infrastructure. This combination ensures convenient transactions and sundry financial services delivery to existing and potential customers in a relaxed environment.
Among the dignitaries that graced the launch of the branch were the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi (Ojaja II); Chairman of Ife Central Local Government, Hon. Elugbaju Olayera, traditional and community leaders, captains of industry, among other guests.
In his speech, the Managing Director of FCMB, Mr. Adam Nuru, reiterated the Bank’s commitment to strategically grow its network to meet the individual and business aspirations of its ever-increasing customer base across segments. Mr. Nuru, who was represented by the Executive Director, Business Development, Mrs. Bukola Smith, said that:
‘’Though, most customers prefer to carry out transactions from wherever they are, using our highly convenient and secure alternate channels, such as FCMBMobile, FCMBOnline, *329# USSD code and ATMs spread widely across Nigeria, some still prefer human interaction when banking. This additional customer touch point will further boost our offerings in line with our core values of Execution, Professionalism, Innovation, and Customer-focus (EPIC) in a conducive and convenient environment.’’
[KEEPING READING: NIPOST now set to deliver 2000 outlets for proposed NIRSAL MFB]
The Managing Director assured that while the Bank will sustain the pursuit of its digital banking agenda as a forward-looking financial services operator, it will continue to support the financial inclusion vision of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN by ensuring that every customer is adequately served on any channel in which such services are needed to meet their respective lifestyles, needs, and experience.
Also speaking, the Divisional Head, Service Management & Technology of FCMB, Mr. Oluwakayode Adigun, said:
“Our Ile-Ife branch, just like other branches of FCMB across Nigeria, brings with it, something special in terms of structure and aesthetics. Part of our commitment to promoting a cleaner and greener environment, is by use of renewable energy and in this new branch, we have adopted solar technology which is a clean energy solution that produces minimal waste, is non-pollutant and great for the environment. In addition to this, the Branch will also offer excellent customer experience provided by our team of professionals. We are committed to scale our operations, build the requisite capabilities and deploy the best ways to simplify banking for customers, using our robust technology platform.’’
In his goodwill message at the ceremony, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Ogunwusi, described the opening of an FCMB branch in his domain as another milestone in the annals of the historical city, which is acknowledged as the cradle of civilisation. He stated that:
“The coming of FCMB to Ife is a welcome development that will further boost economic activities of our people. The Bank has a track record of performance and support to individuals and businesses. In the whole of Ifeland, this is the most beautiful Bank as we all can see. I implore our people to patronise FCMB. We also urge the Bank to extend the support it provides in other areas to Ifeland.’’
In the same vein, Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State, who was represented by the Chairman of Ife Central Local Government, Hon. Elugbaju Olayera, hailed FCMB for its commitment to national development through various forms of support to the private and public sectors. According to him:
“We commend the effort of the management of FCMB for deeming it fit to site a branch in Ife. The establishment of the Branch will go a long way to improve the economy of Ife and its environ and I have no doubt that our people will transact business with the Bank.”
Editor’s Note: This is a sponsored content.
[READ FURTHER: FCMB Opens Ultra-Modern Branch in Karu, Nasarawa State]
IGP says protesters attacked 205 public, private facilities
Data collated when the #End SARS peaceful protest started indicated that 14 states recorded major violence.
The Nigerian Police Force has stated that about 205 critical national security assets, corporate facilities and private properties were razed down and vandalized during the EndSARS protest, which was hijacked by hoodlums and arsonists.
This was disclosed by Mr Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector-General of Police, during a virtual conference of Senior Police Officers in Abuja, according to a news report by NAN.
Adamu disclosed that data collated between Oct. 11, when the #End SARS peaceful protest started as a demonstration, and Oct. 27, after it was hijacked by the vandals, indicated that 14 states recorded major violence.
He said that some of the states severely affected by this civil unrest are Lagos, Edo, Delta, Oyo, Kano, Plateau, Osun, Ondo, Ogun, Rivers, Abia, Imo, Ekiti, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The violence had resulted in attacks on critical national security infrastructure, other corporate and private properties, as well as injuries or fatalities to civilians, the police, and other security agents.
What you should know
- 71 public warehouses and 248 privately owned stores were looted in the course of the protests nationwide.
- 51 civilian fatalities with 37 injured, and 22 policemen gruesomely murdered with 26 others injured were recorded during the protest.
- 10 firearms, including 8 AK 47 rifles, were carted away during the attack on police stations, and a locally made pistol had been recovered from elements operating under the guise of the EndSARS protest.
- 1,596 suspects have so far been arrested in connection with the violence and widespread looting across the country.
Protecting your money from fraudsters
The ability to carry out transactions from the comfort of your homes, comes with the responsibility of safeguarding your money.
The advent of the cashless policy in Nigeria came as both a gift and a curse. On the plus side, one does not need to lug bags of cash around, especially for interstate transactions—just get depositors to transfer funds to your account, and you in turn, transfer to your business partners.
The policy has also made banks more innovative by creating various payment platforms that don’t need physical cash. Each bank has a robust mobile banking app where customers can transfer funds, subscribe for cable TV, book flights, buy airtime, etc., without entering a banking hall. For those without smart phones, the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) option is there. Even ATM cards have been upgraded to do more than pay cash. What a time to be alive!
However, with these strides in innovation, come the downsides—robbers have adapted with the times by moving from the highway and taking their “trade” online. The various options open to customers for processing transactions can also be manipulated by thieves to defraud account holders of their hard-earned funds.
Hopefully, after reading this article, readers would be better armed to protect their funds from these “online robbers.”
1. Do not divulge sensitive account details to unknown callers
As surprising as it seems, many people still fall prey to this trick, despite several warnings. There have been many instances of people admitting that they received calls from unknown callers, who claim to be staff of various banks. They are told that their accounts require some form of upgrade\corrections, and to do this, information like ATM card PINs and PANs, and details of messages sent to the account owners’ phones are needed. The “bank staff” then creates mobile banking apps tied to the bank accounts of the unsuspecting owners, and from there, all funds are transferred to several unknown recipients.
2. Protect card details
As already stated, ATM cards are not just used for cash withdrawals now—they can also be used for funds transfers, bills payments, online transactions, etc. this means that one does not necessarily need the physical presence of their card to process some transactions. With knowledge of the card Primary Account Number (PAN), which are the 16 digits displayed on the card’s surface, the Personal Identification Number (PIN), and Card Verification Value (CVV) number, displayed on the back of the card, funds can be moved from one’s account.
It is therefore important to protect these details, especially when using the card in public places like ATM lobbies, and POS machines. You should be equally careful not to call out such details, if absolutely necessary, within earshot of people.
3. Always keep your phone safe
Imagine mourning the loss of your phone, then having the added heartache of losing the funds in your bank account(s).
The value of a phone goes beyond its price, these days. It contains private valued information of its owner, among which are bank account details; it also contains the SIM through which transaction alerts are received. The SIM makes it possible to process USSD transactions.
There have been instances where phones were given to repairmen, only for the owners to realise later that funds had been transferred from their accounts via USSD to unknown beneficiaries. Even relatives have been known to secretly steal funds from accounts, just by handling the owner’s phones.
Always keep your phone locked, and know where it is at all times.
4. Pay attention to transaction alerts
It is very easy to assume that all is well with one’s account, and not bother with checking transaction alerts. After all, it is what you withdrew that must have left the account, right? Wrong!
As explained above, funds could have left your account without your authorisation. So pay attention to your transaction alerts, especially the balances, and quickly investigate any transaction that was not initiated with your permission—the earlier the better, for quick resolution with your bank.
Also note that the absence of alerts despite transactions could also be a red flag, as the SIM could have been swapped, giving fraudsters a free hand to run your account.
5. Know the USSD code for instant account deactivation
Imagine the horror of receiving alerts showing that your account is being continuously debited as you helplessly watch it happen, especially during over weekend when banks are closed.
This doesn’t need to happen. Right from the first debit, you should be able to take action and deactivate your account to prevent further debits. This is why it is important to know the emergency code of each bank where your funds are kept. For example, with Zenith Bank, any phone can be used to enter USSD code *966*911#, provide your account number, and the number used to receive alerts, and the account gets instantly deactivated. After this, you can take your time to investigate the stolen money, instead of frantically running around to stop further debits.
It is also important to know the various ways to reach your bank during emergencies—get their customer care lines from their websites, and if they have chatbots, engage them; also know their email addresses. Getting your account officer’s number too is useful.
Apparently, with the ability to carry out transactions from the comfort of your homes, comes the responsibility of safeguarding your money (to an extent). These tips should make it easier to do so.
However, in a case where the money has already been stolen, contact your bank as soon as possible for investigation and possible recovery.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 30th of October 2020, 170 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 62,691 confirmed cases.
On the 30th of October 2020, 170 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 3,008 samples across the country.
To date, 62,521 cases have been confirmed, 58,249 cases have been discharged and 1,141 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 620,758 tests have been carried out as of October 30th, 2020 compared to 617,750 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 30th October 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 62,691
- Total Number Discharged – 58,430
- Total Deaths – 1,144
- Total Tests Carried out – 620,758
According to the NCDC, the 170 new cases were reported from 11 states- Lagos (106), FCT (25), Oyo (14), Edo (7), Kaduna (7), Ogun (4), Bauchi (2), Benue (2), Kano (1), Osun (1), Rivers (1)
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 21,212, followed by Abuja (6,053), Plateau (3,630), Oyo (3,447), Rivers (2,810), Edo (2,664), Kaduna (2,648), Ogun (2,031), Delta (1,814), Kano (1,747), Ondo (1,666), Enugu (1,314), Kwara (1,069), Ebonyi (1,049), Katsina (952), Osun (926), Abia (898), Gombe (883). Borno (745), and Bauchi (713).
Imo State has recorded 616 cases, Benue (493), Nasarawa (482), Bayelsa (412), Ekiti (332), Jigawa (325), Akwa Ibom (295), Anambra (277), Niger (274), Adamawa (257), Sokoto (165), Taraba (146), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Yobe (82), Zamfara (79), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.