…Deploys Database To Combat Scams
BY CHINYERE OBIORA, LAGOS –
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has endorsed a central depository database to eradicate electronic and card frauds from the nation’s financial system.
When fully operational, the software would easily detect attempts within the system to carry out fraudulent activities through SMS, with culprits risking serious sanctions, including ban from the banking industry operations.
Briefing financial journalists after the Bankers’ Committee meeting in Lagos on Thursday, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc. Mr Harbert Wigwe said the database will sanitize and insulate the sector from criminal financial activities.
“The committee deliberated on topical issues that had to do with fraud and one of that is the electronic and card fraud and part of the deliberation was that there is need to create a central depository, which is a database of suspected fraud through the system. So, once that database is set up and there is suspected case going through the system, we can have ways of ensuring there is strong deterrent for people who are known as fraudsters in the system”, Wigwe said
According to him, “Hopefully, if that is implemented what you will see is that the level of fraud, which is coming through SMS and bank cards will decrease significantly”, adding that, “Very strict measures will be implemented to make sure that people don’t do it and repeat offenders are taken out of the banking system to make sure that we sanitize the system. It is different from credit default.”
Also speaking, CBN’s Director, Banking Supervision, Ahmed Abdullahi said the nation’s economy will witness positive growth to come out of recession by 2017 second quarter.
Abdullahi said developments in the forex market have ensured downward prices and convergence of rates, adding that these impacted positively on the economy with inflation already trending downwards.
On CBN’s incentives for Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (SMEs), he said, “CBN recently introduced new windows for SMEs to access forex through their banks with minimum documentation, and there is need for public to know the existence of the window, for them to go to their banks to access the window and improve their business.”
Abdullahi however said the convergence of rates would build up confidence in the market, which informed creating the window to attract investors and improve the inflow of forex in the economy. He also said the CBN and Chief Executives of banks further emphasized the financing SMEs and agriculture using five per cent of banks’ profit.
He said the deal would fast track the process of getting the economy out of recession, stressing that commercial banks are ready to provide the equity funding for agriculture and all small scale businesses in export drive.
On positive indices about the economy easing out of recession, Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Department (CBN), Mr. Issac Okorafor said the economy went into a recession due to the devastating foreign exchange crisis that adversely affected the financial system.
Admitting that things were aggravated by limited daily oil production due to Niger Delta militancy and fallen global oil price, Okorafor said, “Now stability has been restored in the Niger Delta, production and oil supply has increased and the price of oil has stabilized not as much as we want it in the international market. We also have significantly eased the problems of manufacturers and SMEs in the forex market. There is greater supply now and we have been able to ease off these fraudulent demands for foreign exchange.”
“More importantly, agric production has greatly improved which is impacting on food prices because they have been encouraged greatly by CBN anchor borrower program. So the collective actions of all these activities, no doubt, point to a direction of growth and you can see inflation has come down. We strongly believe that the economy is on its way out of the recession,” the CBN spokesman assured