By Babajide Komolafe

Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Chief Godswill Akpabio has called for measures to protect electronic payment platform from activities of fraudsters.

He made this call in a keynote address delivered at the 3rd annual conference of Committee of E-Banking Industry Heads (CeBIH) held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom.

The theme of the conference was E-payment System: Harnessing Opportunities for Growth and Profitability,” and it was attended by e-payment experts from across the world.

Represented by the Deputy Governor, Lady Valerie Ebe, Akpabio noted that the American Federal Bureau of Statistics refers to 419 as the “Nigerian crime”, and profiles it as scam emails emanating mostly from Nigeria. This profiling the Governor said “has greatly affected and dented our image”, and hence has become an urgent issue of concern to all Nigerians.

He told the gathering of electronic payment experts, “Since these scam artists use electronic payment platforms to defraud their victims, I urge you to think of a way to stop this and salvage our image as a nation. I urge you to do this as a patriotic duty.

Commending the Central Bank of Nigeria and CeBIH for the implementation of the cashless policy, Akpabio said,“The introduction of the cashless policy in Nigeria is already a treat boom and has eased transactions for our countrymen. The Chairman of CeBIH and his team has done a difficult job pretty well. They have ensured that the banking industry in Nigeria adopts best global practices in terms of techniques and reforms. We appreciate and commend them”.

The Governor noted that despite the huge advantages offered by e-payment, Nigerians have not yet realised, and are yet to explore the full benefits of the technological advancement in the banking industry. Consequently, he tasked the conference, “to explore the best avenues of ensuring that Nigerians take full benefits of numerous opportunities that e-payment system offer to enhance their mode of transactions.”

Earlier in his opening remarks, Chairman of CeBIH, Mr. Chuks Iku said that the focus of the conference is to look at how the payment systems industry can experience growth in user base by way of introducing elements like mobile money and agent banking, while remaining profitable in the medium and long term.

He expressed appreciation to the Akwa Ibom state for hosting the conference. “We are aware of the great job you are doing in Akwa Ibom state. More importantly we know that you are one of the biggest champions of the cashless initiatives and the drive to provide financial inclusion to the millions of unbanked Nigeria. Akwa Ibom has a digitised library and currently automates its salary payments and carries out successful biometric capture of its citizens.

We assure as a group that we are collectively working to make life easier, convenient and more secure for all Nigerians by implementing various secure electronic payment channels in our different banks, in the interest of the citizens of our great nation Nigeria.”

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