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NeFF should tackle threat of blockchain technology – CBN

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By Babajide Komolafe

Deputy Governor, Operations, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Adebayo Adelabu has called on the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum, NeFF, to address the threat of blockchain technology.

He made this call while speaking at the end-of- year dinner of the Forum  held in Lagos last week.

He said: “I implore you to however work harder, especially as technology yet again has taken us to the dark waters of blockchain technology, where players must learn to either swim or sink, in the novelty of the tide.

Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele

“The Forum has not decided to confront the challenges that lie ahead because they are easy, but because they are hard, for in achieving this goal, we also act in the best interest of the entire Payments System and test the strength of our resolve. This is a challenge the Forum should be unwilling to postpone and one as an industry, we must win.

“The challenge of securing the Nigerian Payments System will always be a daunting task, for with ease of payments, comes greater adoption, and with increased adoption, the lure of cyber-criminals who seek to convert either digital assets or resources or both to their own becomes greater.

“NeFF has proven to be a formidable stakeholder in securing this ecosystem, through a unique and critically important role of creating a platform for collaboration amongst stakeholders in our Payments System.

In his opening address, NeFF chairman, Mr. Dipo Fatokun listed the agenda of the forum for 2017 to include: A Comprehensive Industry Fraud Awareness Program; and a workshop on the Cyber-Crime Prohibition Act 2015.

Fatokun, who is also the Director, Banking and Payment System Department, CBN, said: “NeFF has commenced plans to organize a workshop that will highlight the challenges inherent in the Cyber-Crime Prohibition Act 2015 and its possible effect on e-commerce and use the recommendations to engage the Attorney-General of the Federation and Office of the National Security Adviser on reviewing certain aspects that could affect the effective operationalization of the act.

The Forum has agreed to have the Cybercrime Workshop in Q1 2017 and communication to that effect has already been sent out.

“As has been said often at our meetings, an effective fight against fraud is not without a robust awareness program. This awareness is not only for members of the public but also for staff of organizations that operate within the Payments Space.

It is important that our awareness program starts in 2017 as this would help the industry reduce cost of fraud through increased vigilance and detection abilities.”

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