Is the CBN Finally Going After Internet Fraudsters? What Does its Partnership with the CIBN Mean?

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Is The CBN Finally Going After Internet Fraudsters? What Does It's Partnership With CIBN Mean?

Cyber crime has been massively on the increase in Nigeria over the years. With each arrest, we are told of how criminals are devising even more crafty tactics to defraud unsuspecting people. Well, it appears the CBN is finally stepping up measures to address this eyesore in our country’s financial, and even security sector.

The banking regulatory body has recently announced a new partnership with the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN). CBN’s Deputy Governor for Financial System Stability, Dr. Okwu Joseph Nnanna shared this information at the recent Swearing in Ceremony of CIBN’s new President, Dr. Uche Olwu.

Is The CBN Finally Going After Internet Fraudsters? What Does It's Partnership With CIBN Mean?
Dr. Okwu Joseph Nnanna, CBN’S Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability

Dr. Okwu re-emphasized that cyber crime is on a dangerous increase in Nigeria. Sharing that “this is the time banks and the economy are facing cyber insecurity. The CBN will partner CIBN to ensure that financial transactions are secured.”

Cyber Fraud Continues to Dent Nigeria’s Financial System

Cyber crime is a huge menace in the Nigerian financial system, and more so, in the Nigerian society. In 2015, Nigeria reportedly lost about N127 billion to cyber crimes.

Is The CBN Finally Going After Internet Fraudsters? What Does It's Partnership With CIBN Mean?
Internet fraudsters, popularly called Yahoo Boys, are routinely arrested by the EFCC, yet a whole lot of them are never caught.

That is an alarming figure by any stretch of imagination, especially as it is for crimes that were actually reported. Most crimes go unnoticed as Internet fraud cements its place owing to the weak structure of the Nigeria’s financial system.

There are numerous tales of how cyber criminals have outwitted Nigerian banks to scam unsuspecting customers. This is evident in the number of spam messages people get informing them of issues with their BVN numbers. The flaws in the Nigerian financial system makes BVN numbers extremely essential for perpetrating Internet fraud.

Fake bank alerts and phishing mails are still being used by these cyber fraudsters. Although the latter is not as wide-spread, but fake bank alerts are new and very hard to identify immediately.

Is The CBN Finally Going After Internet Fraudsters? What Does It's Partnership With CIBN Mean?
Nigerian cyber criminals have earned Nigeria a very nasty reputation online.

However, beyond the crimes committed domestically, Nigerian cyber fraudsters have earned a reputation internationally. According to the Head of the NCC, Umar Danbatta, Nigeria ranks third in internet fraud, behind the UK and the US. That’s alarming, considering that internet penetration is still considered a humanitarian concern.

So in light of these, it Is surprising that the authorities haven’t pursued very tight measures against criminals for so long. And by all indications, the partnership between the CBN and the CIBN will be the first new measure the CBN has introduced in a while too.

But what does the partnership entail exactly and will it be effective?

What Will the CBN-CIBN Partnership Be About?

Unfortunately, no further information was given about the CBN-CIBN partnership. But considering that the CIBN is a professional banking body and not an enforcement body, there’s very little it can achieve. Of course, it could provide the CBN with advisory information about the activities of cyber criminals, but it would be a far cry from being a think-tank.

It is still not clear and would be unfair to speculate on the impact of partnership. But one thing stands out, this would be CBN’s first in a series of partnership with other financial and security bodies.


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