NIGERIA:NeFF Begins Study Of Block Chain Technology

With the increasing spread of Bitcoin, Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF) has said it is taking up measures to ensure that the crypto currency will not be a dark hole in which the Nigerian financial system will fall into.

Presently, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) have instituted a joint committee to look into the effects of the crypto currency and other block chain technology and its effect on the Nigerian economy.

Bitcoin has over the years gain popularity having served as a means of payment in the deep web and in recent times. According to the Chairman of NeFF who is also the Director, Banking and Payment System at the CBN,  Dipo Fatukun, fraudsters are quicker in catching on new trends in the technological space.

He however noted the need for regulators and operators in the Nigerian financial system to be well informed and not left out in the block chain technology. The managing director and chief executive officer, NDIC, Ibrahim Umaru had earlier informed of a joint committee comprising of the corporation and the CBN which is currently  looking into the emergence of the unconventional financial products.

The NDIC chief said the emergence of block chain platform such as Bitcoin is set to radically transform the banking industry noting that some banks in Europe have already adopted and introduced their own block hair products, compelling regulatory authorities to wake up to the changing trend.

Fatokun who described the block-chain technology as a disruptive technology, said the industry committee is looking into the technology and will “make recommendation so that when it becomes wide spread, it is not going to be a dark hole that the country’s system will fall into.

Speaking at the annual dinner of NeFF in Lagos, Fatokun affirmed the forum’s commitment to enforce comprehensive fraud monitoring compliance in order to control the risk hosted to the national e-payment system and any other disruptive technology within the financial institution.

He said the forum will focus on consumer education and industry wide awareness creation, enforcement of comprehensive fraud monitoring in compliance with existing resolution, monitor and control the risk host to the national payment system and other financial institution. He said: “Also, the forum will set up industry committee of block chain technology to monitor development and make necessary recommendation.”

Fatokun noted that in the coming year, the forum intends to operationalise a dedicated Electronic Payment and Crime Unit “that is going to assist us in the apprehension and prosecution of fraudsters. We believe that we are  at the last hurdle to operationalise that. Once that is done, e-fraud will reduce significantly.

‘‘Statistics show that it’s reducing, and we must also need to admit the fact that it cannot be eliminated, but we want to bring it further down to the barest minimum.’’