CBN Asks Banks to Report Cyber Crimes
Meanwhile, following a recent report that North Korean hacking operations were growing and getting bolder and increasingly targeting financial institutions in Nigeria and 17 other countries, the central bank has advised financial institutions under its regulation to always report incidents of cybercrime to the CBN.
The CBN Director, Banking and Payment Systems Department, Mr. Dipo Fatokun, who said this while responding to questions about the report from Russian cyber security firm, Kaspersky, in a phone interview on Sunday said sharing of information about cybercrime would help in developing better defence against such crimes.
According to him, no Nigerian bank has reported any case of hacking to the CBN.
Fatokun explained: “From the reports we have read, no Nigerian bank has reported to have been hacked. One thing about hacking is that if a bank is hacked, it could disrupt its services to customers, depending on the type of hacking that was done. If it was denial of services, definitely the customers’ services would have been disrupted.
“Sometimes, it is such disruptions that even alert the banks that something is wrong with their system. But we have not heard any and no bank has reported that its system was hacked.”
Fatokun said the central bank has continued to sensitise banks and other stakeholders on the dangers of ransomware, a computer malware that hackers use to hold their victim’s data hostage.
He explained further: “You know ransomware is electronic kidnapping. Just like physical kidnapping where the law enforcement agencies would always advise against paying ransom because if you pay it may never end, what we did was to tell the banks that instead of paying ransom which may not end, they should have good back up arrangements.
“So that if your system is kidnapped or held hostage so that you cannot use it, you fall back on the backup server so that you continue with your operations. Of course, if somebody is holding you hostage and noticed that your operation is still continuing, it means he has not achieved his aim and will be forced to leave you.”
According to a news report by the Cable News Network (CNN), two international security experts believe that the stolen money from cyber hacking were likely being spent advancing North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons. Banks and security researchers have previously identified four similar cyber-heists attempted on financial institutions in Bangladesh, Ecuador, the Philippines and Vietnam.
But researchers at Kaspersky now say the same hacking operation known as “Lazarus” also attacked financial institutions in Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Gabon, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Poland, Taiwan, Thailand and Uruguay.
The hackers can be traced back to North Korea, according to Kaspersky researchers.
Nigeria Receives £4.2 Million Looted By James Ibori
The government of the United Kingdom has repatriated the sum of £4.2million that was looted by associates and family members of the convicted former governor of Delta State, James Ibori.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, on Tuesday confirmed the receipt of the looted fund in a statement he made available to newsmen in Abuja.
In the statement signed by Malami Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Dr. Umar Gwandu, the Minister of Justice disclosed that the naira equivalent of the amount was credited into the designated Federal Government account on May 10, 2021.
The AGF had earlier signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the repatriation of the loot fund on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
According to him, “the development was a demonstration of the recognition of reputation Nigeria earns through records of management of recovered stolen Nigerian stolen in the execution of public oriented projects”.
AfDB, European Bank To Bridge $2.5tn Africa’s Financing Gap
The African Development Bank Group and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Monday to promote sustainable private sector development in Africa.
In a statement issued by its Communication and External Relations Department, the AfDB said, “The MoU will help catalyse new sources of financing to help bridge the $2.5tn annual financing gap for development in Africa.
“This gap requires that development finance institutions work in partnership.”
The bank stated that under this partnership, the AfDB and the EBRD would capitalise on their respective
expertise and experience, with a particular focus on climate change, green and resilient infrastructure and capital markets development.
“They will also work on improving business environments, bolstering the real economy and mobilising private sector investment,” the AfDB stated.
It observed that COVID-19 was threatening progress made towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and was exacerbating the debt vulnerability of many African countries.
The bank stated that sustainable private sector development would be key to recovery and prosperity across the continent.
AfDB’s President, Akinwumi Adesina, after signing the memorandum with his counterpart, EBRD President,
Odile Renaud-Basso, was quoted as saying, “The new partnership agreement between our two institutions will pave the way for us to do more together, especially in supporting the growth of Africa’s private sector.
“The impact of COVID-19 on government resources is huge and we need to mobilise more private resources to help African countries build back stronger.”
On his part, Renaud-Basso, said, “The COVID-19 crisis has made the need for better and ever closer collective action even more urgent.
“Collaboration between the EBRD and the African Development Bank has grown from strength to strength over the years in the region.”
Despite Rising Debt Profile, President Buhari Seeks New N2.342T External Loan
President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, urged the Senate to approve a new external loan of N2,343,387,942,848.00, about $6.183billion, for the Federal Government to finance the 2021 budget deficit.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan read Buhari’s letter of request on the floor of the Senate at plenary.
Last Month, Investorsking recalled that there was a controversy when Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki had raised concerns over the financial trouble Nigeria might find herself due to the continuous rising debt profile.
In a recent report carried out by PWC, it was reported that:
“Actual debt servicing cost in 2020 stood at N3.27 trillion and represented about 10 percent over the budgeted amount of N2.95 trillion. This puts the debt-to-revenue ratio at approximately 83 percent, nearly double the 46 percent that was budgeted.
“This implies that about N83 out of every N100 the FG earned was used to settle interest payments for outstanding domestic and foreign debts within the reference period. In 2021, the FG plans to spend N3.32 trillion to service its outstanding debt. This is slightly higher than the N2.95 trillion budgeted in 2020”.
According to DMO Nigeria’s total public debt as at December 31, 2020, was N32.915 Trillion.
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