The banking industry and its customers have lost N4bn to electronic frauds, the Central Bank of Nigeria has said.
Deputy Governor, CBN, Mr. Suleiman Barau, said this when he led members of the Nigerian Electronic Fraud Forum on a courtesy visit to the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, in Abuja on Tuesday.
To curtail this vice, the apex bank and the Nigeria Police agreed to set up a working group that would collaborate to foil electronic frauds.
Arase also made a commitment to establish a dedicated Payment and Card Crime Unit in the Nigeria Police at the request of the bank.
Speaking during the visit, Barau said no one single institution could defeat fraud, adding that a significant exposure existed by operating in isolation.
He said, “This forum (NEFF) recognises the role of our law enforcement agencies as strategic partners in stemming e-fraud; therefore we are here to further advance this strategic intent of collaboration.
“Today, with the enactment into law of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention) Act 2015, offences are now clearly outlined and it has thus become imperative for us to build the investigative capacity of our law enforcement agencies especially the Nigeria Police.
“The activities of this forum has helped bridge the gaps by fostering and cementing collaboration not just among banks but also other players in the payment industry, law enforcement, consumer protection agencies and of course the judiciary.
“Today, it is a threat not only to individuals and corporate organisations but also to the entire nation. Its cost implication can be measured through not only economic but also social impacts, as it is evident today. That industry losses have grown to over N4bn buttresses the fact that e-fraud has become an industry of its own.”
Barau said the banking industry had expected increase in the electronic fraud with the introduction of the cashless policy by the apex bank, which informed the inauguration of the Nigerian Electronic Fraud Forum to stem the tide of the scourge.
He added that although N4bn was huge, it was little when compared to the volume of electronic transactions that had taken place within the period of time that the frauds had been tracked.
Speaking at the forum, Arase acceded to the request of CBN to introduce a new unit to be dedicated to payment and card crimes.
He said although the police already had an electronic fraud unit in Lagos, the new unit would be established to work within the larger electronic fraud unit.