Ugo Aliogo

Banks and financial technology companies have been urged to invest in innovative solutions in combating cybercrimes.

The charge was given at a breakfast meeting organised by Best of Breed Business Solutions Limited (BBBS) in conjunction with its Partner, Barac Uk, to address enterprise fraud and cyber security challenges in the Nigeria market.

Speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer, Best Business Solution Limited, Mbama Ethelbert, said to address issues around the fraud and cyber threats, it was important for companies to understand the kind of data that was being generated by organisations such as banks and telecommunication companies.

“Most organisations, especially, service oriented organisations like banks, telecoms, fintech companies are moving toward digital transformation as a key strategy. “This means opening up of its platforms to third party vendors/partners, using multiple channels to offer services to their customers such as social media channels, mobile, web, PoS and others.

“These generate massive volumes of data and expose the organisations to threats,” he noted.

He also stated that presently, there are two kinds of data known as structured and unstructured data, “and a third one that sits between both data types known as semi-unstructured data.”

He stated that structured data can be stored in a relational database such as Oracle, MS SQL and other, “here, data is stored in tables with rows and columns. They have relational key and can be easily be mapped into pre-designed fields. Thus, they are highly organised information that uploads neatly into a relational database.”

In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer, Barac Uk, Omar Yaacoubi, noted that there are various measures which the banks has to put in place, so that when hackers change their behaviours, the solutions that they are using can also change their behaviour as well.

He explained that modifying the rules was complex, noting that solutions such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and behaviour analytics, would help solve part of the challenges.

Continuing, Ethelbert added: “Structured data concerns all data which can be stored in a Relational Database like Oracle, MS SQL etc. Here, data is stored in tables with rows and columns.”

Unity Bank Wins Award

Unity Bank Plc has won the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) 2018 sustainable banking award.

Specifically, the financial institution won the ‘Sustainable Transaction of the Year in Agriculture’ award.

The bank won the award for its compliance with the sustainable banking principles as it relates to the management of environmental and social risk set out by the CBN for adoption by Nigerian banks, discount houses and development banks.

A statement explained that at the recently held Bankers’ Committee held in Lagos, the CBN had while presenting the award commended Unity Bank’s efforts in promoting the Anchor Borrowers Program (ABP), Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) project.

According to the statement, the regulator had added that the lender deserved the award because of the role it played in actualisation and management of this audacious projects.

The active involvement of the bank in various financing schemes had resulted in creating huge social and economic impact on the income of households involving over 270,000 participating small holder farmers thereby boosting not only the gross domestic product but also helping to achieve self-sufficiency in food production.

Commenting on the development, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Unity Bank Plc, Mrs. Tomi Somefun, dedicated the award to all farmers and businesses in agriculture value chain, adding: “we have successfully on-boarded over 90,000 hitherto financially excluded farmers and generated bank verification number for them to facilitate financial and banking transaction.”

She added: “Capacities of about 60 agro input suppliers were expanded through provision of facilities and financial advisory services.

“The bank’s environmental and social management program covers comprehensive business operations that minimises adverse impact on the environment in the scope of its business activities.”

According to Somefun, the bank’s environmental management policies and strategies comprehensively covers priority areas that encourages bio-diversity, green initiatives, recycling of waste, reduction of carbon emission geared towards promoting sustainability, conservation and environmental protection.

Unity Bank Plc is a niche player in agricultural financing in Nigeria, with active participation in most government intervention schemes and support for key policy initiatives.

These are aimed at driving growth and transformation of Nigeria’s agricultural economy.