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Bankole asks banks, others to partner N-Assembly against fraud

By Tordue Salem

ABUJA — Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Dimeji Bankole, yesterday called on banks, the entertainment industry and Interswitch Nigeria with other partners to work with the National Assembly in tackling cyber crimes in the country.

Bankole who expressed regrets that these organisations and agencies whose businesses were greatly affected by the current spate of cyber crimes were not doing much in terms of collaborating with the legislature to have a legislative framework against the malaise.

The Speaker who was represented by his deputy, Usman Bayero Nafada, at the opening of a one-day public hearing on the Bill for an Act to establish the cyber-security and information protection agency yesterday also said it would have been better if these industries were “cooperating in exercising their rights to petition their government for the desired change, and in view of the huge economic stake they have, in creating appropriate legal framework around their businesses.”

The Bill is sponsored by Rep. Bassey Etim (PDP, UYo/Akwa Ibom).

The hearing which had attendance from the law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders was organised by the Joint House Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Science and Technology, and Justice.

“Interswitch and its partner companies and financial institutions are very well aware of the gaps in the laws, and are living witnesses of how those gaps are hurting their businesses and their customers in turn.

Yet, up to date, neither has Interswithch nor any of the card companies, nor any bank for that matter, has submitted any proposal to any committee in the National Assembly that I am aware of,” he said.

Meanwhile, Minister of Science and Technoloy, Dr. Alhassan Bako Zaku, in his presentation at the hearing, advised the House to dump the bill in its entirety, describing it as highly disjointed, and without specific aims it sought to achieve.

According to the Minister who was represented by the Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Professor Cleopas Angaye, said he was not clear if the proposed agency, when created would not be duplicating the functions of the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and other security agencies.


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