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Financial Electronic Fraud Cases In Nigeria On The Decline – Report

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Financial electronic fraud cases in Nigeria continues to drop with the strict implementation of various cashless policies in Nigeria including the 2014 compulsory Bank Verification Number (BVN) by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This was contained in a FBNQuest Research obtained by the New Telegraph. This comes amidst reports that Nigeria loses about $390m/78b Naira (November 2015 exchange rate) to cyber criminals each year and breaking it down further, the financial institutions lose about 50 billion Naira, associations lose 11billion Naira, Government establishments 10 billion Naira, epayment companies 3billion and Telecom companies about 4.5 billion.

According to the report which was posted on the New Telegraph website, “The rate of e-fraud in terms of value reduced by 63 per cent in 2015, partly due to the introduction of bank verification numbers (BVN). However, the volume increased significantly by over 500 per cent compared with 2014.

Similarly, data released recently by Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) suggests that there were 3,500 cyber-attacks with 70 per cent success rate and a loss of $450 million in 2015,” it said. The report explained that cyber criminals employ sever- al techniques to perpetrate efraud such as data theft; email spoofing and phishing just to mention a few.

Cyber security needs to remain a priority for all stakeholders in order to encourage continued patronage of this platform. Meanwhile, an industry report obtained by New Telegraph from the Interbank Settlement System Plc. (NIBSS), revealed that the Nigerians banks have issued over 24 million Bank Verification Numbers to their customers as at end of March, this year.

According to NIBSS, while over 30.1 million account holders had enrolled for BVN, only 24 million had received their verification numbers. As such, over six million bank customers, who have enrolled for the exercise, are yet to be issued BVNs according to the data analysis.

Meanwhile, the number of enrolled bank customers represents about 34.7 per cent of the total 86.5 million banks accounts opened by government, corporate and individuals with various banks in the country.

According to the monthly analysis of the NIBSS latest data on banking accounts and BVN enrollments, starting from January 2015, it was noted that that 2.2 million accounts were enrolled in January; 2.7 million in February; 3.3 million March and by April, May and June, the figures had increased to 7.7 million; 9.2 million and 12.4 million respectively.

In July, August and September, the figure rose to 12.7 million; 13.7 million and 14. 5 million accounts while in the last quarter of the year, 16.3 million accounts were enrolled in October; 21.2 million in November and in December, the figure stood at 28.2 million.

In January this year, the number of enrolled bank accounts for BVN further increased to 30.1 million. The January figure is the latest in the industry.”

The BVN process itself has led to tightening of cash flow in Nigeria which many believe in the past has encouraged bribery and corruption in Africa’s biggest economy. When the Buhari administration came on board in May 2015, they embarked on the Treasury Single Account (TSA) which mandated that all government funds in bank be transferred to the CBN in an effort to further hit the brakes on cash flow in Nigeria and depending on how you see it, this has either deepened hardship in a country that’s largely dependent on public sector funds or has checked financial corruption. Seeing as this is a tech news site, I’ll leave that to the pundits.

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