The 2019 fourth quarter Open Forum of the NCC’s Industry Consumer Advisory Forum, ICAF), was held in Abuja, on Tuesday, December 10, 2019, with the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, coming up with intensified regulatory efforts towards protecting the interests of telecoms consumers, from the scourge of financial frauds, through its multi-sectoral collaboration approach.
The forum was well attended by institutional members of ICAF, stakeholders from the telecoms/ financial sectors; law enforcement agencies, as well as, consumer advocacy groups, all of whom were convened, by the Commission to deliberate on financial frauds, using the telecoms platform and what consumers need to know, to be protected.
The forum provided opportunities, for stakeholders to copiously examined and address criminal acts, of using telecoms platform, for financial frauds, with stakeholders calling on banks and telcos, to step up measures to create robust awareness for their customers, using telecoms platforms, to carry out financial transactions.
Addressing participants at the forum, Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, NCC, said that, there has been growing concern, over the rising trend of electronic frauds, across key sectors of the Nigerian economy, with the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), rating e-fraud, as the biggest risk, in the financial sector, where the use of e-channels, to conduct financial transactions, has become the order of the day.
He said that, the telecoms sector is, not immune to the scourge of electronic-related frauds, as attackers now target telecoms networks, with the intent to disrupt service delivery and infiltrate their data banks.
“Illegal subscriber identification module, (SIM), swaps and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data, (USSD), e-payment frauds, are currently some of the most serious cyber threats in the telecoms industry. Fraudsters conduct illegal SIM swap of targeted individuals and then, conduct USSD-based transactions, which cost the unlucky victims huge losses,” he said.
He said, while this has been the situation, the NCC, in dealing with the menace and in line. with its fundamental regulatory responsibilities of protecting the interest of consumers, has been working closely, with other stakeholder to implement technical and operational solutions, to financial fraud, using telecoms platforms.
“Just, as we have demonstrated, through ICAF, the NCC has embraced a multi-sectoral synergy, to harmonise the activities of critical stakeholders, responsible for combating financial fraud committed, through telecoms platforms and we will continue to strengthen this,” he added.
“It is the NCC’s conviction that, through adequate education, information sharing and provision of an array of channels of redress, we can safeguard telecom consumers and innovatively, promote the prospects, for greater consumer experience”, stated Felicia Onwuegbuchulam, Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, NCC, while listing the various efforts that, the Commission has been taking, in protecting telecoms consumers.
Ben Anyalenkwe, Lead paper presenter, at the forum and as well as, other stakeholders came up with a communique that contains a list of action points, to be implemented, by the telcos, banks, regulators, consumer advocacy bodies, law enforcement agencies, consumers, as well as. other institutions that, are connected to taking concrete steps, at mitigating cases of financial frauds, using telecoms networks in Nigeria.
Featured Image: Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, NCC, at the 2019 fourth quarter Open Forum of the NCC’s Industry Consumer Advisory Forum, ICAF), was held in Abuja, on Tuesday, December 10, 2019