CBN, Banks Move To Blacklist Fraudsters

…Say Nigeria will be out of recession by Q2

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and commercial banks have intensified efforts against fraudsters in the banking system as they have commenced compiling the list of swindlers in order to blacklist them.

They have also reiterated that the country will be out of economic recession and start recording growth by the end of the second quarter of the year.

Rising from the Bankers Committee meeting in Lagos yesterday, the apex bank, operators in the banking sector and other regulators said there will be database asides that of credit defaulters which will gather the details of fraudsters.

Managing director and chief executive officer of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe disclosed during a briefing that the committee deliberated on “topical issues that had to do with fraud and one of that is the electronic and card fraud as well as deliberation on the need to create a central depositary which is a database of suspected fraud through the system.

“Once that database is set up and there is suspected fraud   going through the system, we can have ways of ensuring there is strong detergent for people who are known as fraudsters in the system.

“Hopefully, if that is implemented, what you will see is that the level of fraud which is coming through SMS and bank cards will decease significantly. Very strict measures will be implemented to make sure that people don’t do it and offenders are taken out of the banking system to make sure we sanitize the system,” he stated.

The CBN director, Banking Supervision, Ahmed Abdulahi on his part assured that the economy will be out of recession by the second quarter of the year and start recording positive growth. According to him, recent policies of the CBN particularly in the foreign exchange market have contributed immensely to the restoration of the nation’s economic fortune.

“The recent development in the forex market has led to prices turning downwards and convergence of rates and the positive effect of that on the economy, we have seen inflation trending downwards,” he said.

Similarly, the CBN director, Corporate Communication, Isaac Okorafor noted that, “What drove the economy to a recession firstly is the very acute foreign exchange crunch that limited production. Secondly, the fact that oil could not flow due to militancy in the Niger Delta and of course the price of oil fell drastically.

“Now, stability has been restored in the Niger Delta and we have every hope it would continue that way. We also have significantly eased the problems of manufacturers and SMEs in the forex market. There is greater supply now and we have been able to ease off these fraudulent demands for foreign exchange.

“More importantly, Agric production has greatly improved which is impacting on food prices because they have been encouraged greatly by the CBN anchor borrower programme. So the collective actions of all these actions no doubt point to a direction to growth and you can see inflation has come down,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, the banks said they are committed to ensuring availability of foreign exchange and funding for small businesses as part of efforts at restoring the economy. Managing director of Rand Merchant Bank, Michael Larbie noted that the “banking community is committed to further ensuring forex is available for all legitimate personal and business travel. The banks are now committed to having travel desk and cubicles in most of their branches and appropriate exchange rate will be duly published so that anyone can walk in.’’

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