• Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

Danbatta Launches Fight Against E-Fraud

ByHybrid News

Jun 26, 2023

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta has appealed to concerned stakeholders to collaborate in the battle against E-fraud in Nigeria. This call was made during the 2nd Quarter 2023 Industry Consumer Advisory Forum (ICAF) Meeting held in Lagos.

Danbatta, in his address, commended the implementation of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025 and the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy 2020-2030 (NDEPS). He acknowledged the significant impact these initiatives have had on the growth of sectors such as agriculture and oil and gas.

Furthermore, Danbatta emphasized the importance of collective efforts by communications regulators to combat E-fraud in the country. He urged them to pool their resources together in order to tackle this pervasive issue.

“Digital technology offers Nigeria the opportunity to grow and diversify its economy from the overdependence on agriculture or oil and gas export proceeds. The launch of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020 – 2025 as well as the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy 2020 – 2030 (NDEPS) attests to the fact that Nigeria is poised to join the comity of nations and become a global leader in transforming its economy into a digital one.

“In recent years, Nigeria has witnessed remarkable growth in the digital economy, revolutionizing the way we communicate, transact, and conduct business. The telecom sector plays a pivotal role in enabling this digital transformation, providing the infrastructure and connectivity that fuel our interconnected world. However, with these advancements come new challenges, one of which is the rising tide of e-fraud and cybersecurity concerns.

“E-fraud encompasses a wide range of malicious activities carried out via electronic means, including identity theft, phishing, hacking, and unauthorized access to personal and financial information, with the intention to defraud or take advantage of victims. These criminal activities may not only cause significant financial losses but also erode consumer trust in the digital ecosystem.

“The NCC as the regulator of the communications sector has a crucial role to play in combatting e-fraud. We must establish comprehensive legal frameworks and standards that mandate sound security practices for telecom operators. The legal framework must focus on data protection, privacy and incident response, ensuring that operators are held accountable for any lapses in security on their respective networks. The NCC also type-approves communications equipment to ensure that they conform to global standards and are interoperable with various relevant technologies. In this regard, The Commission collaborates with Mobile Network Operators to ensure the safety of their networks and conducts regular audits and assessments to verify compliance and encourage a culture of cybersecurity within the industry,” he said.

During his speech, Alh. Alkasim Abubakar Umar, the Director of the Consumer Affairs Bureau at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), acknowledged the substantial progress of the digital economy in Nigeria. However, he also emphasized the prevalence of electronic fraud within the country.

Alh. Alkasim Abubakar Umar highlighted a staggering statistic, revealing that cybercrime has resulted in losses surpassing $600 billion. This information was provided by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), indicating a significant increase compared to a 2014 study that estimated global losses at around $445 billion.

“In recent years, the growth of the telecommunications sector in Nigeria has been remarkable. With increasing access to mobile phones and internet connectivity, we have witnessed a surge in digital transactions, making our lives more convenient and efficient. However, this rapid expansion has also opened new avenues for criminals to exploit unsuspecting individuals through various forms of electronic fraud. According to some reports, Nigerians have lost about N12.5 billion to financial crimes linked to the telecommunications industry in the past four (4) years.

“The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) estimated that 600 billion US Dollars is lost to cybercrime each year, an increase from a 2014 study that put global losses at about 445 billion US Dollars.

“In Africa, the peril of cybercrimes recorded a massive rise in the first six months of 2022, “with phishing and scams hitting 438 percent and 174 percent in Kenya and Nigeria, respectively”, the Guardian Newspapers. reported on August 3, 2022.

“E-fraud poses a significant threat to our society, as it undermines the trust and confidence in our digital platforms, hampers economic growth, and adversely impacts the lives of our citizens. As the regulatory authority responsible for overseeing the telecommunications industry, the NCC recognizes its duty to safeguard the interests of consumers and protect the integrity of our digital ecosystem.”

During his speech, Mazi Akpa Emeka, the Chairman of the International Cybersecurity and Fraud Association (ICAF), expressed deep concern regarding the alarming rise in digital fraud. He emphasized the importance for organizations to take proactive measures in combatting fraud, particularly when it directly affects their customers.

He said, “Fraud has escalated as digital adoption has increased. The situation requires that organizations simultaneously combat fraud and provide customers with a seamless digital experience.
“Digital adoption leapfrogged a decade in days during the COVID-19 pandemic, accelerating the shift to digital and multichannel client service that began in the 2010s. The pandemic-driven boost to e-commerce is estimated to have exceeded $200 billion in 2020 and 2021.

“Increased digital adoption has enabled new forms of fraudulent activity and amplified the importance of effective fraud management for promoting growth and meeting customers’ increasing expectations for digital experiences. Although most companies have improved their digital user interface and experience, many have struggled to effectively enhance fraud controls without impairing the client experience.”

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