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EFCC Freezes Over 300 Bank Accounts in Efforts to Safeguard Naira

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ola Olukoyede, has revealed that the commission has frozen more than 300 bank accounts since Monday in a bid to protect the naira from further destabilization.

Addressing journalists in Abuja, Olukoyede cited a report from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for the year 2022, which highlighted that Nigerian banks incurred losses of N8 billion due to cybercrimes.

Furthermore, the NCC report revealed that Nigeria is losing an estimated $500 million annually to cybercrimes.

Commenting on the recent appreciation of the forex rate, Olukoyede emphasized that beyond combating corruption and financial crimes, the EFCC is actively exploring avenues to stimulate the economy. This commitment has led the commission to intervene in forex manipulation activities and thwart a planned assault on the naira, resulting in the freezing of over 300 accounts on Monday.

Discussing the commission’s latest initiatives to combat financial crimes, Olukoyede outlined the introduction of a reform agenda aimed at preventing the misappropriation of government resources. He stressed that efforts to curb looting must begin with a thorough examination of government processes and procedures.

Reiterating the findings of the NCC report for 2022, Olukoyede noted that 71% of the country’s industries experienced some form of cyber-attack during the year, leading to an overall loss of $706 million to cybercrimes. He further pointed out that, according to the FBI, while Africa accounted for 60% of global cybercrime perpetrators between 2018 and 2021, Nigeria alone was responsible for 50% of that figure.

The commission is now awaiting the 2023 NCC report to further assess the impact of cybercrimes on the Nigerian banking sector.

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