EFCC boss challenges Auditors on tackling financial crimes in banks

Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ola Olukoyede has  challenged 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, at the 2024 Annual retreat of the Association of Chief Audit Executives of Banks in Nigeria, ACAEBI.

He condemned 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.

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

He said: “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.”

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He added that an estimated 70 percent of financial crimes in Nigeria was 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 demanded a fusion of preventive and detective measures for effective outcomes and cost management of bank frauds.

He noted 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.

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