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Unity Bank Unveils New Code on USSD Platform to Combat E-Banking Fraud

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In a bid to safeguard its e-banking platforms with enhanced safety and security features, Unity Bank Plc has unveiled a new code on its USSD platform that completely puts the customer in control of his Bank Account against any e-Banking fraud.

The new code which is *7799*9*Phone Number # allows customers to block access to their Bank Accounts, hence without recourse to the Bank, a customer is able to prevent and protect his Bank Account from unauthorised access using any mobile device if fraud is suspected.

As part of the robust feature of the Bank’s USSD platform, Bank customers can directly initiate the new Code and successfully block the account from a third-party mobile device.

To unblock the Bank account, customers can walk into any branch of Unity Bank closest to them and request reactivation.
As a result, customers are thus able to exercise unlimited control with the new code as the Account Blockade can be initiated from any phone to prevent any unauthorised transaction or access to the Bank Account. The blockade can also be initiated to stem risks arising from the loss of debit card or incidences of unauthorized transactions.
This feature now offers full control to Unity Bank customers to protect themselves from scams, secure all banking transactions, and puts the customers well ahead in control of their banking transactions.

The new anti-fraud code enhances the Bank’s robust security system to safeguard customers’ bank accounts against any form of cyber threat or incurring financial losses from fraud attempts.

According to the latest banking industry fraud report by Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System, cyber fraud rose by 534% as Nigerian banks lost a total of N3.5 billion in the past year alone. The unveiling of the new USSD code is, therefore, part of Unity Bank’s strategic move to protect their customers by reducing to zero, losses from electronic banking frauds.

The *7799# code which was introduced three years ago and enhanced with a multi-language capability has remained a critical component of the Bank’s robust e-banking channels facilitating seamless and secure banking transactions.

Speaking on the new anti-fraud code, the Directorate Head, E-Business, Retail & SME Banking, Mr. Funwa Akinmade said that leveraging necessary technology to protect the bank’s assets including customer’s Bank account remains a top priority for the Bank in the face of rising cyber-security threats.
He said: “With fraud concerns on major payment channels across Nigeria, every player in the financial services industry in Nigeria must think of a way to stay ahead of its game.

“With the added USSD feature that allows customers to block their accounts using *7799*9*Phone Number# code, even from a third party device, we have given greater empowerment to customers to transact freely on our USSD platform. With the USSD feature, being available to both smartphone and feature phone users, it means even the least digital-savvy customers of Unity Bank can effectively use the new anti-fraud code”.
“More so, since the USSD is available in the three major local languages, it, therefore, has the potential to reach the greatest number of people who are looking for convenient and secure banking services.”
The unveiling of the new anti-fraud code on the USSD platform is also accompanied by the rollout of a nationwide radio campaign to educate the banking public on the options available to them to bank safely and securely.

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Unity Bank Collaborate to Fund N15.5bn Equipment for Julius Berger

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Unity Bank Plc, in company of other banks has facilitated a credit facility of N15.5bn for the acquisition of trucks and equipment to Julius Berger Plc.

The group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of SCOA Nigeria Plc, Dr Massad Boulos, has appreciated the gesture.

A statement from SCOA said that SCOA presented 33 MAN platform trucks and equipment to Julius Berger to be deployed for the construction of the 380 kilometre Abuja-Kaduna-Kano roads.

The banks that funded the acquisition were Unity Bank Plc, Heritage Bank Limited, Zenith Bank Plc, Providus Bank Limited, Wema Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, Union Bank Plc and Coronation Merchant Bank Limited.

Boulos said, “I commend Unity Bank, their MD and the members of the executive management; and the entire team of banks who have worked closely with us on this project.”

Mr Ralph Brendicke, the representative of the MD of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Dr Lars Richter, said the trucks and other equipment would help the company expand its field capacity and increase the speed of execution leading to timely completion of the highly anticipated project.

The MD/CEO of Unity Bank Plc, Mrs Tomi Somefun, represented by the Directorate Head, Lagos and South West Zone, Mr Wale Ogunride, was quoted as saying, “We looked at the strategic importance of this project and how such infrastructure could contribute to stimulating economic activity and decided that Unity Bank must play its part.

“Unity Bank will continue to provide support to such projects as we have been doing in other critical sectors of the economy such as agriculture.”

In a separate statement, the Executive Director of Wema Bank, Mr Oluwole Ajimisinmi, was quoted as saying that his bank was delighted to be one of the institutions to support SCOA in the project.

He also encouraged and solicited for more local content in order to create more jobs.

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NBS Report: Nigeria’s Inflation Rate Dropped Further to 17.01% in August

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Nigeria’s inflation rate has dropped by 0.37 per cent to 17.01 per cent (year-on-year) in August, from the 17.38 per cent recorded in July.

This was disclosed in the Consumer Price Index report just released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

According to the report, composite food index also dropped to 20.30 per cent against 21.03 per cent in July.

“This rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of bread and cereals, milk, cheese and egg, oils and fats, Potatoes, yam and other tuber, food products n.e.c, meat and coffee, tea and cocoa,” the report read in part.

At the same time, the country’s urban inflation rate fell to 17.59 per cent year-on-year, from 18.01 per cent recorded two months ago, rural inflation rate tapered to 16.43 per cent from a previous 16.75 per cent, while core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce dropped by 0.31 per cent to 13.41 per cent in from 13.72 per cent recorded in July.

“The corresponding twelve-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index is 17.19 per cent in August 2021. This is higher than 16.89 per cent reported in July 2021, while the corresponding rural inflation rate in August 2021 is 16.03 per cent compared to 15.73 per cent recorded in July 2021,” the report further stated.

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Dangote Partners NCDMB on Oil Sector Research, Development

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Dangote Refinery has announced a partnership with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board on the promotion of research and development in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

According to a statement from the firm, Dangote refinery was a platinum sponsor of the second edition of the NCDMB Research and Development Fair and Conference 2021 in a bid to show its commitment to the project.

The statement also said that Dangote refinery was able to showcase its 650,000 barrel per day project and the research and development activities it had carried out during the construction of the refinery at the fair.

The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr Simbi Wabote, commended the company’s support for the fair. He expressed the need for companies in the Nigeria oil and gas sector to start nurturing the growth of the country’s home-grown technology rather just being wholesome consumers of other people’s innovations.

Wabote was quoted as saying, “Analysis of global practices of Research and Development revealed that the combined R&D spend of just five countries makes up 63.5 per cent of the entire global R&D spend. These five countries, namely USA, China, Japan, Germany, and India were also observed to have accounted for over 50 per cent of the global Gross Domestic Product.

“Africa, on the other hand, accounted for less than one per cent of the global R&D spend while its GDP is only three per cent of the global GDP. You will agree with me that there is a nexus between the spend on Research and Development and economic prosperity,” the Executive Secretary added.

The minister, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, also called on industry stakeholders and youths across the country to take advantage of the NCDMB R&D centre to bolster adaptation of existing solutions and also come up with new ones to address major challenges in the industry.

The Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, represented by his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo was quoted as saying that the theme for the fair captures stakeholders’ collective commitment to aggressively drive innovation and position the oil industry on the path of an integrated energy sector, where field development and production solutions are sourced through local capabilities.

He emphasised the need for private sector operators to invest in research and development. “It is important, however, to clear up a certain misconception: The funding of research is not the sole responsibility of National Governments; rather, big spenders on research and development globally come from the private sector,” he added.

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