Wale Ayantoye is a Nigeria-born America-based Consultant, who over the years, has committed himself to the field of training, Capacity building, inspiring, motivating and encouraging people around the world with his simple, precise and accurate teaching.
He is the lead consultant at Word Express Consult, a firm that specializes on Human capacity building, (leadership, purpose discovery and personal branding) and the brain behind ONE WORLD PEACE PROJECT, the host of LIFE EXPERIENCE an online based life-changing Leadership/Entrepreneur program.
How challenging is it to be working in a financial tech industry, with your background in Agricultural Economics and European and International Law?
Not challenging at all, but like every profession, there are dailies changes that come with it, but I can say those challenges are what makes the Job fun, also working in the Financial Tech Industry as a Legal Sanctions Expert gives me the opportunity to maximize my Law background.
I started out working as a Customer Success Representative during my undergraduate days while in Estonia before founding my way doing Know Your Customer (KYC) investigation for the Compliance team, those experiences coupled with my educational background gave me the needed professional edge.
For me, fighting corruption and social injustice has always been a paramount importance to me, I guess that is why I found myself working for one of the Leading Financial Tech Company here in the US and a Fortune 500. Even though my current field has nothing entirely to do with the Agricultural Economics I studied while in LAUTECH, but I believe no knowledge is a waste, who knows maybe just someday I might use it., my team and I are responsible for any Sanctions related investigation for our entire company operation in the whole of US and Canada, and we share our professional opinion with our colleagues in the UK and Australia.
How effective is the US sanctions program in conjunction with the Office Of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) helped in curbing credit card fraud?
The US Sanctions program today would have been ineffective if not the tons of information database and access to advance software we use in monitoring and Investigating any form of OFAC and Sanctions related criminal activities, this has tremendously helped in curbing credit card and cryptocurrencies fraud.
Tracking down financial crimes can be demanding especially when criminals keep getting smarter by the day but the amount of resources we have and the dedication of other Legal Sanctions Experts has been amazing, you will be shocked at the number of resources dedicated to curbing such crime.
One thing you have to understand is that every criminal organization is funded by one means or another, our job is to make funding difficult for them that in a long run we can close them down, from terrorist groups to child traffickers to drug pushers they all have one channel or another they move their money, our responsibility is to close them down, and working with OFAC and other Local and International Law agencies has been of a huge positive impact.
Has credit card fraud limit the effects of mobile money ?
Absolutely not, the opportunity to work directly with our Compliance and Risk Fraud department, I can tell you that technology has advanced beyond what many people think. Don’t get me wrong I am not saying Credit card fraud is a thing of the past, rather we are more equipped to fight such criminal activities in the 21st century compared to how it used to be in the past. I think the more people are aware of issues such as data bridge, a lot of people will become more careful with phishing emails and other related suspicious emails and that can lead to credit card fraud.
Are there enlightenment measures put in place for credit card users so as not to fall victims of fraudsters?
Oh yes! I think that is just the right thing to do as a financial tech company or for any financial institution, letting people know things such as charge back protection right, fraud protection limitations and presenting it in a way that they can understand without having to deal with the financial verbiage we use on daily bases in the office. It is important to Educate Credit Card users on the implication of exposing their personally identifiable financial information (PIFI) or personally identifiable information (PII), because these are things that easily lead to Credit Card bridge.
What’s the way for Africa and most especially her youths who have resulted in this fraudulent acts?
My opinion has always been that, if the African youths can invest the same level of energy, time, attention and creativity they waste away on credit card fraud or any form of internet crimes, I am sure they can come out with some of the best ideas that will challenge the rest of the world.
The problem is that many of the youths are short-sighted as all they can think of is the few hundreds of dollars they can scam out of their potential victims.
A lot of young Nigerians will sight poverty as the main reason behind their involvement in such a criminal act which is the easiest thing to do, but we cannot blame it all on the system, the issue is that a lot of young folks out there don’t have vision for themselves, any way to make quick money is always welcome, a good example was when I was in Estonia there are a lot of people who came to the country with the intention of just escaping from Nigeria thinking it will solve all of their problems, but that isn’t the case, many of them graduated with Masters and Ph.D. and ended up cleaning floors or washing dishes, in fact I have a family friend who is based in the UK for over 10 years, he is living bills to bills and state assistance, he can’t afford to take care of his own family not to talk about feeding himself, what I am trying to say is that, many people perish for lack of knowledge, it is not enough to blame it on the system.
Do you think African leaders have roles to play in putting an end to this menace?
Every government has a role to play, if you speak to an average youth who is engaged in such activities, they will blame the Government for the level of poverty in the country, my believe is that if our youths are given the opportunity to express their creativity a lot of them can bring the desired change. Let African Leaders set up development programs, coding classes and other mind developing projects, tackle unemployment, redesign our school curriculums in such a way that it meets the demand of the 21st century workplace requirements and stop forcing our young ones to be doctors, lawyers, and engineers, this will be the first huge step in curbing this menace.
Schooling in Nigeria and abroad, what do you think of Nigeria’s education system?
The Nigerian education system has a very long way to go, how do you expect the students from Nigeria to compete when everything they are being taught is from the same syllabus from the early ’90s? The Nigeria Education sector like most of the sectors in the country need a reformation, if not we will keep producing many graduates that can not compete on the global level.
How was it like then in Ladoke Akintola University of Technology?
Schooling in Lautech was not different from most Nigeria Public Universities, the internet was a huge problem, not forgetting the endless strikes and the unreasonable rate the school fees keep going up, professors teaching from the same syllabus since the school was commissioned. I can not say schooling in Lautech was all that bad during our time, if I will take anything positive out of the whole experience, that will be the amazing people I met and the ability to withstand such a condition without breaking.
Do you see yourself relocating or investing in Nigeria?
For those that have followed my work over the years, one thing is true, I have a strong desire for Nation building, relocating, that is not something in the plan right now, but as for investing in Nigeria, that is something I have done through the years even though I am away from the country, we can not keep complaining about what is wrong with the country without the burning passion to make corrections.
What do you think of entrepreneurship in Nigeria and the youths?
One thing is certain, Nigeria youths are hardworking, that is why it is so easy for a majority of Nigerians to succeed abroad where there is leveled playing field. I am working with my team, planning on how to educate the Nigeria youth on the importance of entrepreneurship, during my last visit to Nigeria I had a business training for young entrepreneurs with the theme ‘’LIVING LOCAL; THINK GLOBAL’’ that is because I believe for them to succeed they must see beyond their immediate environment, and I plan to continue this crusade until we have liberated more business owners. I will be back to the country soon with a bigger conference. My goal now is to work with small business owners and entrepreneur helping them develop their business concept in such a way that it can have a global touch. I have traveled to over 24 countries I have seen how business is conducted in different part of the world and Nigeria business owners have a long way to go. With my LIVING LOCAL; THINK GLOBAL project, i intend to inspire more business owners and help them succeed, hopefully, we will have more sponsors for the next edition.
Do you have any presidential candidate you are routing for in the next election?
I will pick from any of the young, vibrant and passion aspirant and for me, I will say FD Fela Durotoye top that chart. I understand Nigerians are crying for change, but are they truly mentally ready for a young president? We can not go forward if we keep looking backward. There are many countries out there that have openly welcome young presidents and leaders, we cannot keep tackling current global issues with recycled leadership.
Do you see yourself vying for political office in Nigeria?
That is an interesting one, I think that day might come when i might run for office, but now my goal is to help as many young Nigerian youths achieve their entrepreneurial goals as possible.
As election is fast approaching, how do you visualize the outcome of 2019 general election?
I sincerely hope, many Nigerians will go out there and vote, with the intention of stopping leadership recycling. We have tried the old folks and we ended up with old results, I want to believe this election will speak volume on our readiness and seriousness as a country to compete with the rest of the world.
As a Nigeria living abroad, do you have any instance you have been segregated because of your background?
Discrimination is present everywhere, but i think moments like that make you mentally strong and fuel your desire to succeed. Nigeria does not have that good reputation abroad considering we are one of the giant when it comes to cyber and financial fraud, but if you can mentally overcome such situations there is a lot you can achieve.
How was it like growing up in Nigeria, when last did you visit?
Growing up in Nigeria is different, but i can say those challenges i faced growing up in Nigeria, is the real reason my desire to succeed is greater than my fear of failing. The experiences i have gathered along the way helped in the global success of my recent book. I won’t trade the experience for anything else. I was in the country January 2018, my first visit in over 5 years, but i plan to make it an annual project for me going forward, as I believe there is a lot of work to be done in Nigeria. You can visit www.waleayantoye.com, let’s connect.
What message do you have for Nigerian youths ?
Whatever business you venture into, whatever idea you nurse, whatever dreams you have, always remember each day bring you closer to them. Successful people were once dreamers, the people that have changed history were once tagged crazy, your ideas might sound crazy today but never stop dreaming, believing and keep challenging yourself. Remember to go out and VOTE!