By Adesoro Tolu Austen
Something new is happening at the Green Chambers in the National Assembly.The Tenth House of Representatives under the able leadership of Hon. Abbas Tajudeen is using the Committee on Digital and Electronic Banking, to prove a big point in repositioning and reinvigorating the legislature in its oversight duty to justify the mandate of the people.
That is another fantastic way of saying that it is not going to be business as usual in the House of Representatives.
This brand new Committee on Digital and Electronic Banking is a watch dog that will not only be saddled with the responsibility of policing all Digital and Electronic banking in Nigeria, as the world is gradually becoming a paperless affairs, but also to ensure accountability and transparency in that critical sector of the economy.
Recently, during a One Day Workshop on “Assessment of the National Monitoring and Evaluation Policy of Nigeria and the Role of the Legislature”, organized by the Directorate of Planning and Legislative Budget of the National Assembly, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Abbas Tajudeen made himself very clear on his resoluteness, to take the house to the next level of relevance in Nigeria’s representative democracy thus:
“Monitoring and evaluation as a national policy is a framework designed as a way of institutionalising standard practices and culture of good governance in public investment and accountability towards improvement of socio-economic development of the society.
“The National Assembly, as the legislative arm of the government, is a critical democratic institution that is empowered to conduct monitoring and evaluation of executive bodies, by the provision of Sections 88 and 89 of the 1999 constitution.
“In our resolve to improve oversight functions, committee members are now to be guided by certain codes of ethics and guidelines that ensures transparency, accountability as well as insulate members from conflicts of interests,”
It is now very clear why the Committee on Digital and Electronic Banking was birthed as a tool of oversight function. This is a sign that the House is ready to have its Eagle eyes on every segment of government.
By demonstrating his zeal and enthusiasm to get the newly created Committee on Digital and Electronic Banking cracking positively, Hon. Abass Tajudeen has picked a real square peg in a square hole in the choice of Hon. Emmanuel Ukpong -Udo. Who is this man chosen to do an historic assignment?He is an experienced Occupational Health & Safety Practitioner practicing 26+ years with major multi-national Energy, Oil & Gas, Engineering, Production and Construction organizations; health & Safety Research Fellow at Middlesex University, England, United Kingdom; a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner, United Kingdom; a Chartered Fellow of Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (registered in the UK; a Registered Occupational Safety and Health Consultant in United Kingdom).
Hon. Emmanuel Ukpong is a highly resourceful & motivated individual with global recognition for excellence in problem solving, quality strategy and business improvement implementation. He is very good in demonstrating interpersonal skills at all levels.
The Chairman of Digital and Electronic Banking Committee in the House of Representatives, is an independent thinker who can identify problems and solutions; meeting deadlines & demanding targets accordingly for business performance improvement. He is an astute team player with energy and enthusiasm, never afraid to take the initiative and make reasoned decisions, whilst maintaining a flexible, approachable nature with high degree of integrity & credibility.
Now, it is imperative to know what digital and electronic banking is all about. Perhaps, electronic banking is the best innovation that has happened in the banking industry in the 21st Century.
Electronic banking has made banking possible away from banking premises. Banking can now take place anywhere using various electronic devices like mobile phones, automated teller machines, point-of-sale systems, smart televisions, computers, tablets, among others. Today different baking transactions can be completed or initiated from different locations outside banking premises such as transfer and receipts of funds, balance enquiry, purchase of airtime, payment of bills and account opening.
Digital banking is more of an overarching term which refers to all forms of financial transactions taking place with the aid of technology. Therefore, it could be argued that online banking is a form of digital banking, but that digital banking is much more than just online banking.
Digital banking can refer to the many digital products available to businesses to make them run more efficiently, such as accountancy and payroll software and payment technology. This can either be a physical store or an online merchant.
Electronic Banking is more commonly referred to as internet banking or simply netbanking. It is an electronic payment system supported by a website that offers an array of products and services of any bank that is possible to work electronically, like payments, transfers, deposits and more.
The concept of financial inclusion has continued to gain global acceptance since it was identified as one of the key drivers of inclusive economic growth and development. Financial inclusion is one of the objectives of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s cashless policy introduced in Nigeria in the year 2011.
Electronic banking has made banking
possible away from banking premises.Banking can now take place anywhere using various electronic devices like mobile phones, automated teller machines, point-of-sale systems, smart televisions, computers, tablets, among others.
Today different baking transactions can be completed or initiated from different
locations outside banking premises such as transfer and receipts of funds, balance enquiry, purchase of airtime, payment of bills and account opening.
Looking at Singapore, the Third Schedule allows a bank to disclose customer information in many situations without obtaining the customer’s consent, whereas the common law does not.
One great feature of the new digital banks in Singapore is that they’re digitally native. That means they’ve been built to offer services online and in-app – rather than being brick and mortar banks which have added on digital services.
Traditional banks offer a tried-and-tested reputation and the convenience of physical branches located in the city-state, whereas a digital bank is likely to offer lower fees and interest rates and better online customer support.
Singapore is a high-income economy with a gross national income of US$54,530 per capita, as of 2017. The country provides one of the world’s most business-friendly regulatory environment for local entrepreneurs and is ranked among the world’s most competitive economies.
In the decades after independence, Singapore rapidly developed from a low-income country to a high-income country. GDP growth in the city-state has been amongst the world’s highest, at an average of 7.7% since independence and topping 9.2% in the first 25 years.
After rapid industrialization in the 1960s catapulted the island nation’s development trajectory, manufacturing became the main driver of growth. In the early 1970s, Singapore reached full employment and joined the ranks of Hong Kong SAR, Republic of Korea, and Taiwan a decade later as Asia’s newly industrializing economies. The manufacturing and services sectors remain the twin pillars of Singapore’s high value-added economy.
The overall growth of the Singapore economy was 3.2% in 2018. Value-added manufacturing, particularly in the electronics and precision engineering sectors, remain key drivers of growth, as are the services sector, particularly the information and communications industries, which grew 6.0% year-on-year, and the finance & insurance industries, which grew 5.9% year-on-year. Economic growth is expected to moderate in 2019, with the government forecasting a range of 1.5% to 3.5%, projecting the rate to be slightly below the middle of the forecast range.
In 2017, Singapore launched the regional finance hub ‘Asia’s Infrastructure Exchange’: “the go-to place where infrastructure demand and supply can connect, where infrastructure expertise and financing can be obtained and infrastructure needs are met.” In its announcement, the government highlighted the country’s strong ecosystem, one that integrates infrastructure players along the whole value chain – multilateral banks, private financiers, lawyers, accountants, engineers and other professional services.
In the most recent World Bank Human Capital Index, Singapore ranks the best country in the world in human capital development. This means that a child born today in Singapore will be 88% as productive when she grows up, as if she enjoyed complete education and full health.
Together with strong financial support from the government, the country continues to strengthen the nimbleness and flexibility of its workforce by providing continuing education such as the Skillsfuture initiative. Government spending on continuing education will nearly double, to more than S$1 billion yearly.
Surely, the Digital and electronic banking committee in the House of Representatives will act as survallaince to block every loophole in government treasury.Digital and Electronic committee stand the chance of holding the nation to accountability and a more transparent way of doing business.The committee will make foreign investors to be more attracted to doing business in Nigeria because of increasing transparency.in that sector.
The former disgraced Accountant – General of Nigeria for stealing billions of naira, under President Muhammadu Buhari, the massive frauds being committed allegedly by officials of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and other Ministries, Departments & Agencies ( MDAs) occur due to lack of oversight by a proper designated committee, like the Digital and Electronic Banking Committee in the House of Representatives.
Thank goodness the Committee on Digital and Electronic Banking in the House of Representatives is here to stay!
Austen is a journalist, legislative Scholar and Clerk, House of Representatives committee on Digital and Electronic banking.