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Losses to banking fraud decline in three straight years

By Chijioke Nelson, Asst. Editor, Finance/Economy
02 July 2018   |   4:10 am
There is an upsurge in attempt for electronic fraud in the country despite the concerted efforts to check the menace, but the rate of success has continued to decline, the Nigeria electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF) said.

Dipo Fatokun

CBN lauds NeFF on awareness, collaboration, prevention
There is an upsurge in attempt for electronic fraud in the country despite the concerted efforts to check the menace, but the rate of success has continued to decline, the Nigeria electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF) said.

Moreover, the forum said it has become necessary to review and strengthen the existing rules, and enact new regulations to stem the problem, as it pledges more fight against the ugly trend.

The Chairman of NeFF and Director of Banking and Payments System Department at CBN, ‘Dipo Fatokun, said in ensuring that the forum started the year on an impactful and impressive note, met in February, to evaluate the impact of the Forum’s activities and forge new strategies.

‘Dipo, who cited reports from the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), noted that there was a 24 per cent decline in fraud losses in 2017, which is the third consecutive yearly decline, amounting to N2.4 billion.

“No testament can be stronger than the indices rolled out by the NIBSS, which is an affirmation of the strength of counteractive and collaborative approach,” he said.

He said that the February meeting renewed NeFF’s determination to fight fraud in the country, as it adopted strategies expected to define payment system activities in 2018, which include instituting an Industry Consumer e-Payment Insurance Protection Plan.

According to him, they also agreed to collaboration with the telecommunications companies on the creation of fraud desks and their integration with banking fraud desks for ease of information sharing

Others were further collaboration with the National Information Technology Development Agency; establishment of new liaisons within the African region; and embarking on a multi-industry fraud awareness programme.

Fatokun said these activities are aimed at giving foremost consideration to the security of the country’s payments system.

“Taming fraud will continue to be a focus for the Forum, as we know the impact fraud has in diminishing trust, which is an essential ingredient in building an internationally recognised and nationally utilised payments system. Hence, we remain committed in ensuring that the Nigerian Payment System is not only easy to use, but also reliable and trustworthy.

“Consequently, the role of Financial Technology companies (FinTechs) cannot be ignored. The innovations of FinTechs have facilitated the expansion of electronic payments and helped in providing financial services to underserved or previously unreached groups.

“While various elements have helped incubate the growth of financial innovation, a critical factor to its continued growth, development and acceptance is regulation and the ability of financial regulation and regulators to evolve, adapt to new and rapidly developing financial innovations that often challenge traditional regulatory norms, concepts and approaches,” he said.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has commended the operations of the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF) for its leading role in ensuring that our payments system remains secure and well protected from fraudsters through a sustainable awareness among participants.
Besides, theirs efforts were seen as strategic because providing secure payment systems is directly linked to public confidence, as well as evolving more strategies that would help in sustaining achievements.

Also, as one single institution cannot defeat fraud, given that significant exposure exists by operating in isolation, the forum has gathered financial system operators to share knowledge and experiences.

The Deputy Governor, Operations, CBN, Adebayo Adelabu, who made the disclosures at the unveiling of NeFF’s 2017 yearly report in Lagos, noted that leading circulars from CBN have emerged from the deliberations at meetings like the forum.

“That a specialised unit like the Dedicated e-Payment and Card Crime Unit (DePCCU), domiciled in the Nigerian Police, was created at the instance of NeFF, stands to its credit.

“The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation has invited the forum to join the membership of the National Coordination Team that will support the Cybercrime Convention Committee (T-CY) of the Council of Europe.”