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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and Value Added Services (VAS) providers have recommended 21 steps to nip the prevalence of electronic banking fraud which have cost bank customers losses running into billions of naira in the country.

The NCC continued its onslaught against the threat posed by cybercriminals to the industry when it organised a second Workshop of the Industry Group (IWG) on electronic banking fraud at the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), Kano, on October 24, 2017. The IWG was constituted early in the year has as members, stakeholders from the NCC, CBN, Civil Society Organisations (CSO) as well as VAS providers.

Engr. Ubale Maska, executive commissioner, Technical Services at the NCC in his opening remarks to participants at the workshop said the staggering level of fraud in the industry led to the constitution of the IWG which is saddled with the responsibility of proffering solutions to the rising rate of electronic fraud in the country.

During his presentation titled: “Electronic Banking Fraud in Nigeria – Challenges and Way Forward, ” Engr. Bako Wakil, a deputy director at the NCC said it became necessary to grab the bull by the horn, following a visit by the deputy governor of the CBN to the management of the NCC to discuss the prevalence of banking fraud using telecommunications infrastructure.

This was necessitated, after petitions by Nigerian banks to the apex bank began to raise red-flags at the sophisticated methods employed by cyber criminals via telecoms infrastructure in defrauding unsuspecting customers. Wakil said the terms of reference for the committee was to look at the technicality and security of mobile banking; awareness issues in mobile banking; SIM card replacement processes; SIM card cloning as well as unsolicited text messages.

The sub-committee which was set-up acknowledged that banking fraud was a growing national problem which fleeces innocent Nigerians of their earnings daily and came up with 21 recommendations categorised into short-term, Mid-Term and Long Term, with the aim of checkmating this growing threat to Nigerians. The IWG is expected to meet quarterly to review the progress and address new challenges facing the sector.

Malam Adamu Amshi, Kano zonal coordinator, NCC, told the gathering that the enforcement team of the commission along with security agents had recently arrested telecoms vendors selling pre-registered SIM cards and handed them over to the relevant authorities for prosecution in order to protect telecoms consumers from unfair practices by unscrupulous elements in the society.

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