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NCC resolves to address threats of cybercrime

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Worried by the increasing rate of cybercrimes in the country since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has resolved to address the threats.

Speaking at the first virtual Telecom Consumer Parliament, TCP, held at the NCC head office in Abuja on Friday, the Commission’s Director, Consumer Affairs, Bureau, Mr Efosa Idehen, said the threats would be tackled by ensuring that risks associated with the usage of the internet by Nigerians are addressed and managed successfully.

Themed “The Impact of Covid-19 pandemic on Telecom Service Delivery,” the TCP was attended by many dignitaries including the Executive Vice-Chairman of NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta.

Mr Idehen said the theme of the TCP was chosen with the view to address some of the problems being experienced by consumers.

While addressing the attendees, he said while access to high-speed broadband connectivity has become more pervasive and available to Nigerians, which has helped to improve efficiency in their daily activities, “associated with this increased use, cybercriminals, cyber hackers or cyber fraudsters – whose stock in trade is to perpetuate criminality on the internet has heightened since the outbreak of Covid-19”.

These cybercriminals, he noted, defraud unsuspecting internet users who now, more than ever before rely on broadband internet to reach friends, clients and partners.

“Though the issue of cybercrime is a global phenomenon with levels of pervasiveness different from country to country and from region to region, it is becoming more pronounced in Nigeria along with it costs to individuals and organisations in terms of revenue losses, among other dangers it poses to victims.

“It is, therefore, our concern in NCC to ensure that risks associated with the usage of the Internet by Nigerians are addressed and managed successfully.”

According to him the objective of the event was to ascertain the role telecom service providers played and were expected to play to protect telecoms consumers and deliver quality service to them during this unique period.

“With this theme in mind, it becomes necessary to ask: What roles are currently being played by telecom service providers and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) alike towards protecting their consumers in the Covid-19 pandemic era. Additionally, are the measures put in place to protect the consumers sufficient?

“Do the service providers need to institute new measures to improve upon consumer protection initiatives? Finally, do the additional measures complement the current legal and regulatory frameworks to ensure improved security for telecom consumers while online?”

He was optimistic that with the active participation of those at the event, answers would be provided to all the questions raised on how to ensure the safety of consumers.

“Daily, the commission receives complaints from telecoms consumers regarding service delivery. Thus, as a responsible regulator that envisions top-notch service delivery by the operators, we would continue to do everything within our regulatory mandate to ensure that constant improvement in telecoms service delivery is sustained.

He said, “While acknowledging the challenges facing the network operators especially because of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is the need for us to find solutions to the numerous complaints received from consumers with regards to the poor Quality of Service delivered especially in the voice and data segment.

“The CAB has been engaging the industry at a different level to ensure the Consumer get value for money spent. The more recent was the Bi-annual meeting with Senior Executives Directors of telecom companies on complaint management on Tuesday, August 11, 2020, hence the need for the meeting to swiftly address the issues raised and resolutions were reached at the meeting.”

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