By Ibiyemi Mathew
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has inaugurated a multi-sectoral committee to develop a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on financial frauds also called electronic fraud (e-fraud) which are perpetrated through digital platforms.
The committee, inaugurated in line with resolutions reached at a stakeholder forum on financial fraud organised by the NCC earlier this year, is set to harmonise the activities of critical stakeholders responsible for combating financial fraud committed through telecommunications platforms.
Inaugurating the committee in Abuja, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said the inauguration of the committee is further demonstration of Commission’s commitment to forge necessary strategic collaboration with other government agencies, industry players and other necessary stakeholders towards addressing critical industry issues for the benefit of all.
Danbatta, who was represented at the forum by Adeleke Adewolu, the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management at NCC, stated that with the attainment of 35.4 per cent broadband penetration, there has also been an increase in financial services. Expectedly, mobile platforms and applications have become the most common channels for conducting financial and other sundry transactions.
The EVC, however noted that, as the uptake of these alternative channels grows, so have incidences of malevolent use of technology and attendant heavy losses suffered by consumers and other key stakeholders.
“Cybercriminals, hackers and other unscrupulous elements are exploiting online platform vulnerabilities to gain illegal access to bank accounts through phishing and other ploys such as fraudulent SIM swaps to bypass authentication security levels, regardless of whether the transactions are conducted via mobile phones, desktop browser, or on point of purchase,” Danbatta said.
The 26-man committee draws membership from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the NCC, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and the Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON).
Other organisations with representation on the Committee include the banks, security agencies such as the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and the Federal Ministry of Justice.