Nigeria losses over N197billion annually to the activities of cybercriminals who use the digital sector to negatively perpetuate various financial crimes, says Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
The Vice President made this known during a stakeholders’ forum on Financial Fraud using Telecoms Platform, organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), yesterday in Abuja.
Osinbajo who was represented by Prof. Bolaji Owasaye, said the country was grappling with digital fraudsters who are bent on destroying the benefits of telecommunications penetration even as he tasked regulatory authorities, the banking sector and telecom companies to tighten the noose, and ensure that the fraudsters do not destroy the confidence of Nigerians in mobile and telecommunications services.
He said: ‘‘this positive development attract new dangers because fraudsters have infiltrated and compromised telecom platform and put the positive outlook of financial services and mobile money at risk.
“ According to one report, the cost of financial fraud in the country is about whopping N197 billion annually, it could be more, it could be less. This is because we are grappling with new method of fraud, some of which include, SIM card swap, customer identity theft, bank or customer data base hack that compromise bank services.”
Earlier, he said the malevolent use of modern technology had become a growing concern in the industry, especially in the area of financial fraud. “As mobile app integration with online payment platforms and other financial resources have improved over the years, the proportion of legitimate trade conducted using mobile phones and other portable devices has also increased.
‘‘Little wonder then that mobile channels have been seized by cyber-criminals as a new avenue for fraud. Mobile apps as a whole are now quite easy for hackers and cyber-criminals to hijack or corrupt, making them tools for fraudsters to steal credentials, impersonate genuine account holders, and gain illicit access to funds’’.
He said the NCC is collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Police and Department of State Security (DSS) to reduce the incidents of mobile device related financial crimes, adding driving financial inclusion with telecom and their networks will allow more Nigerians to be captured in the financial inclusion drive.
Also speaking at the event, the Minister of Communications Adebayo Shittu assured that the government would continue to seek various ways to reduce incidents of cybercrimes.
He called on regulators, private sector enterprises and all concerned stakeholders to take a wider and more active role in reducing cybercrimes.
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