• Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

Human Rights Groups Urge Nigerian Government To Ban Online Banking, Cite Fraud Concerns

A coalition of Human Rights and pro-democracy groups has issued a stern ultimatum to the Federal Government of Nigeria, demanding the prohibition of online banking operations within the country. Accusing these digital financial institutions of complicity in fostering financial crimes, the groups have given a 14-day deadline for immediate action.

In a joint statement released in Abuja, the nation’s capital, the Human Rights, Liberty Access, and Peace Defenders’ Foundation (HURIDE) alongside the Campaign for Democracy (CD) in South East Nigeria accused online banking entities of failing to adhere comprehensively to the stipulated operational guidelines.

Dede Uzor A Uzor, the Executive Director of HURIDE and Chairman of CD in the South East, highlighted grievances against these online bankers. He stated that these institutions frequently shortchange their clients by either failing to transmit funds to the intended recipients or neglecting to reimburse senders in cases where transactions do not successfully conclude. Uzor emphasized the prolonged delays—sometimes spanning weeks—encountered by customers seeking refunds, citing instances where frustrated individuals abandon attempts to retrieve their funds due to the arduous recovery processes.

The groups expressed concerns regarding the susceptibility of online banking systems to fraudulent activities, particularly within an environment where a significant portion of the populace remains predominantly illiterate in Information Communication Technology (ICT). They decried the purportedly inherent risks, asserting that such platforms inadvertently provide a haven for privileged entities to engage in fraudulent activities. Uzor underscored the vulnerability of online banking to abuse, comparing it unfavorably to conventional banks which, despite stringent regulations, still defraud customers.

“Online banking lacks value addition to our economy. It should be promptly discontinued,” proclaimed Dede Uzor, urging swift governmental intervention.

The deadline issued by these advocacy groups falls on 24th December 2023, marking a pivotal moment in the ongoing debate surrounding the role and viability of online banking in Nigeria’s financial landscape.

Hyacinth Beluchukwu Nwafor

Hyacinth Beluchukwu Nwafor is a seasoned journalist and the CEO/Founder Belch Digital Communications, publishers of Hybrid News Nigeria.

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