By Angela Atabo
National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity), Sahara Deck, Abuja City Centre on Monday decried the persistent electronic financial fraud and demanded a trust administrative system from financial institutions to curb it.
Mr Victor Ofili, Capoon, Sahara Deck, made the call in a statement as part of activities to mark the 2021 World Day of Social Justice with the theme : A Call for Social Justice in the Digital Economy.
Ofili said that it was the onus of banks and financial institutions in general to properly vet the individuals they hire.
He said that the fraud being perpetrated within the financial space in the country needed an administrative action from financial institutions and other appropriate financial regulatory agencies on financial security.
This, he said was for the benefit of the populace in an increasingly digital economy.
“The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity), Sahara Deck – Abuja City Centre, have noticed the worrisome trend of persistent electronic financial fraud that is being perpetrated within the financial space in the country.
“We are not insensitive to the plights of Nigerians in the reoccurring economic malaise.
“This is further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic in the aspects of poor access to public health facilities, insecurity, unemployment, as well as the drums of ethnic discord looming across the nation.
“As if these were not enough, a law abiding citizen who strives to earn a decent living still grapples with the challenges of falling a victim of electronic financial fraud.‘’
Ofili said that the Bank Verification Number (BVN) and National Identification Number (NIN) initiatives directed at curtailing bank and electronic frauds were commendable.
He however said that there was need to look into preventable loopholes such as insecurity, lack of enforcement and sufficient deterrent policies on the part of the government.
He said that this was to ensure that financial institutions collaborated with security agencies in getting swift and decisive result in responding to cases of electronic financial fraud .
Ofili said that the fraud was more often than not exploited by fraudsters in a transactional process through registered bank accounts should be looked into in order to reduce the billions lost to fraudsters.
“According to the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, over N15 billion was lost in 2018 to bank fraud.
“ Similarly, the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo in a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) stakeholders meeting in 2019, is reported to have estimated an annual loss of N190 billion in Nigerian telecommunications related financial services fraud (Columbia Institute for Tele-Information: 2019).’’
According to Ofili , what is more worrisome is the proven collaboration between bank staff and these fraudsters as reported in the daily newspapers.
He said that this revealation no doubt gave an insight to how these frauds were easily perpetuated without the possibility of notification or prompt warning on “unauthorised” access to victims bank accounts.
Ofili said that in other cases where these frauds were reported, there were often delay in justice or absolute lack of it.
He said that Nigerians yearn for swift justice dispensation and enthronement of due process in every aspect of the economy.
Ofili said that the association on its part would continue to act as a watchdog over government policies.