As a result of its resolution to ensure that corruption is reduced to the barest minimum in Nigeria, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) seeks to partner with the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System Plc. (NIBSS) in order to speed up investigation processes.
This emerged at a meeting with some staff of NIBSS where ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, described the partnership as a mutual interest that will help the Commission rid the nation of corruption faster.
He appealed to the management of NIBSS to support the Commission especially in equipping its forensic laboratory.
Earlier in his presentation, the head of the Financial Investigation Unit (FIU), of the Commission, Mr. Mike Agboro, mentioned that ICPC usually has the disappointing experience of crossing nine hurdles before having access to a suspect’s statement of account, which he said, “frustrates investigation processes”.
According to him, “The Commission hopes that partnering with NIBSS will in no small measure hasten the process”.
He appealed to NIBSS to help equip the forensic lab of ICPC with dedicated secured InfoTech equipment for accessing Bank Verification Number (BVN), accounts linking of and other forensic investigations, as part of their corporate social responsibility as well as training and capacity building of officers that would man the equipment.
Speaking about NIBSS, Manager Business Development, Odutola Oluwatoyin, stated that the System was a shared infrastructure owned by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and all commercial banks in the country.
He said that their core mandate was basically to drive the cashless policy in Nigeria, adding that their services included: clearing cheques; Automated Teller Machines (ATM), and Point of Sale (POS) amongst others.
He further stated that NIBSS was the custodian of the processes and details of the Bank Verification Number (BVN).
On the issue of BVN and how it aids anti-corruption, Olufemi Fadairo, who is the Head, Industry Security Services revealed that it came about as a result of the huge loss Nigeria had suffered due to fraud. He said in 2014 alone Nigeria lost N7.5bn to fraud.
On achievements so far, Fadairo said, “As at 2018, fraud rate was at N1.8bn which was a major achievement compared with what we had in 2014”.
He went on to say that apart from fighting fraud, BVN also ensured that proper Know Your Customer (KYC) profiling was achieved; credit check; fraud management and transaction processing.
Fadairo listed benefits of BVN to customers to include: protection of customer bank accounts from unauthorized access; addressing issues of identity theft; easier access to banking services and increased speed of services rendered.