The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), on Wednesday inaugurated a 26 member Committee to develop a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) among stakeholders to address financial frauds via the telecom platforms.
Its Executive Vice Chairman Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta said the step taken by NCC in collaboration with major stakeholders is aimed at protecting over 150 million Nigerians who are now in the nation’s financial system.
Members of the Committee were drawn from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, the NCC, the Federal Competition and Consumers Protection Commission, the National Inter-Bank Settlement System and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
Others are the Telecom Service Providers, the Banks, the Security Agencies-ONSA, EFCC, ICPC, the Police, and NIFU- and the Federal Ministry of Justice.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Committee at the NCC Headquarters Annex, Mbora, Abuja, Prof. Danbatta said the had the responsibility to quickly come out with a Memorandum of Understanding MOU from the resolutions of the stakeholders in the last meeting to tackle the menace of e-fraud in the country.
Prof. Danbatta who was represented by the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management of the NCC, Barrister Adeleke Adewolu, said “Nigeria has indeed witnessed tremendous growth in Communications penetration that has enhanced the provision of broadband services by all major players in the industry through one technology or the other.”
As of September 2019, Nigeria has achieved 35.40% Broadband penetration, he added.
Prof. Danbatta, however, regretted that “the malevolent use of this technology has become a growing concern in the industry, especially in the area of financial fraud.”
He said due to various technological improvements in the financial and telecoms systems, the mobile channels have been seized by cyber-criminals as a new avenue for fraud, while mobile apps have become easy for hackers and cyber-criminals to hijack or corrupt for fraud-related purposes.
“Phishing tactics and social engineering ploys such as the illegal SIM Swap are part and parcel of the online fraud mechanism, regardless of whether the transactions are conducted via mobile phone, desktop browser, or point of presence”, Danbatta said.
The NCC boss said “Recent data released by Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA) revealed that over One Hundred and Fifty (150) million Nigerians are included in the financial system. This is a massive population that may be vulnerable to financial fraud at any time.
“Therefore, Customer Service and Fraud Operations teams in Banks and Mobile Network Operators arguably need tighter processes and guidelines on how to detect potentially fraudulent activities.
“It is to this end that the Commission is in collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigerian Police Force, EFCC, ICPC, and other relevant agencies in the fight against E-Fraud.”
He said the committee would work on the 14 resolutions put together in January at the Stakeholders Forum to develop the MOU that would provide a road map towards proffering long-lasting solutions to the menace of e-fraud in the country.