Heritage Bank has partnered with the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NEFF) on the prevention of fraud in the Nigerian banking system. The MD/CEO of the bank, Mr. Ifie Sekibo said at the unveiling of the 2017 NEFF annual report in Lagos recently that the bank was very proud of successes recorded by the forum, remarking that the advent of the forum has undoubtedly created a revolutionary effect in the conception of banking services in the industry.
Sekibo who was represented by Mr. Ike Williams, Executive Director, Services, and CIO of Heritage Bank said financial institutions in the country had exploited these successes to introduce innovative banking products, especially e-products. He said Heritage Bank would continue to support the forum and advised NEFF not to rest on its oars. The Heritage Bank helmsman also commended Mr. Adebayo Adelabu, the out-going deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), operations as an exceptional leader who made invaluable contributions to the success of the forum, remarking that it will be difficult for any to surpass the achievements he recorded for the forum.
While unveiling the NEFF 2017 annual report, titled Tightening the Belt of e-fraud Prevention: A 4 sided approach, Adelabu, noted that in an environment that has witnessed fast-paced growth in both volume and value of electronic transactions, it would not be out of the ordinary if fraud attempts are also on the increase. Adelabu who was represented by Mrs. Tokunbo Martins, Director of other Financial Institutions Department of the CBN added that a true test of resilience security and strength of a payment system is where losses were minimized, and measures are taken to learn from those losses to forestall a recurrence. According to him, in the last six years of the forum existence, NEFF has consistently acted as a catalyst in the formulation of cohesive and effective fraud and risk management strategies. He said the forum has contributed to a year on year reduction in actual losses from e-fraud as reported by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBBS), which accounted for the 25.71 percent in actual loss value in 2017 when compared to actual loss figures for 2016. Adelabu also commended for its decision to focus on fraud mitigation by engaging all stakeholders from banking, other eco system players, law enforcement agencies, and telecommunication operators which has been put together to form the acronym BELT, from which collaboration should be tightened always.
In her contribution, Mrs. Christabel Onyejekwe, Executive Director, Technology and Operations, NIBBS, said the organization has been adding value to the eco-system through the deployment of electronic banking and formulation of measures to monitor fraud. She said NIBBS would continue to collaborate with other stakeholders in the continued effort to reduce e-fraud in the system.