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NCC to partner CBN against e-fraud as threat to digital finance

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NCC to partner CBN against e-fraud as threat to digital finance

… As FCCPC hits digital money lenders, begins ‘advanced investigation***

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), says it will partner with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to rout e-fraud which it identified as the greatest threat to digital finance.

NCC’s Director of Consumer Affairs Bureau, Mr Efosa Idehen, gave the assurance at the Secondary Schools’ debate in commemoration of the World Consumer Rights Day on Monday in Abuja.

Also read: NCC’s CSIRT warns against banking app-targeting malware

The newsmen report that while NCC chose its theme as “Should Secondary School Students Use Mobile Phones To Enhance Education” this year’s World Consumer Rights Day theme is “Fair Digital Finance”.

Edehen, said the event would create awareness and save consumers from e-fraud and educate the young ones in the proper use of e-channels for financial services.

He quoted the CBN as saying, “e-fraud is costing the Nigerian financial sector whopping sums of money.

“As technology evolves, there is a growing concern over the rising trend fraud perpetuated on telecom platforms across key sectors of the Nigerian economy known as e-fraud.

“This menace, which follows wide acceptance of new methods of mobile banking and other payment systems has been discovered to cost the country whopping sums of money.

The CBN rate e-fraud as the biggest risk in the sector which has widely affected electronic payment solutions.

He gave such solutions as Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBBS) Instant Payment and mobile banking.

The Director also said that attackers now targeted telecom networks with intentions to disrupt service delivery and infiltrate their data bank.

He, however, said that the commission actively collaborated with critical stakeholders and other relevant bodies to fight against e-banking fraudsters.

“To address this menace, the commission actively collaborates with critical stakeholders such as CBN, The Nigerian Police (NPF), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

“Others are Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and other relevant bodies in the fight against e-banking fraudsters.

“ICT has played a central role in young people’s rise to prominence on a global scale and has given them a voice where there was none before.

“It has brought them together in response to social concerns and has connected them across vast geo-political barriers.

ICT has also provided the youth access to digital financial services.

“For young people, access to information means better access to capital, markets and training needed to pursue career or studies.

He called on stakeholders to do more in bridging the gap in digital finance whilst protecting consumers and keeping them informed on safe financial services.

The Country Director of Save the Consumer, Mr Aliyu Ilias, said the initiative had enjoyed six years partnership with the NCC.

“Save the Consumer will continue to work with the Commission to save the consumer.

“For the past six years that we have been in this partnership the relationship has been very cordial,” he said.

The Director Digital Economy Department, NCC, Mr Augustine Nwaulune, educated the students on digital finance and how it had made buying and selling easier.

Nwaunule promised to get in touch with all the students who came for the debate.

Newsmen also report that a total of nine Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) participated in the debate.

The schools include: JSS Kayada, JSS Wuse zone 3, JSS Gwarinpa Estate, JSS Gwagwala Haj Camp, JSS Kwali, JSS Area 10, JSS Jabi, JSS Bwari Central, and JSS Garki.

JSS Kayada emerged the overall winner, JSS Area 10 emerging the first runner up while JSS Wuse zone 3 emerged the second runner up respectively.

In another development, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has ordered digital money lenders that were subject of its regulatory intervention on March 11 to cease operating.

The FCCPC gave the directive in a statement signed by Mr Babatunde Irukera, Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of FCCPC on Monday.

It also said it had begun “advanced investigation” of such digital money lenders.

The newsmen report that the directive was based on the inter-agency Joint Regulatory and Enforcement Task Force (RETF) on right violations in respect to digital money lenders.

The task force includes FCCPC, National Information Technology Development Agency, EFCC, CBN and Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission.

Irukera said, “In furtherance, and pursuant to an Order of the Federal High Court procured by, and granted to the FCCPC, the JRETF executed a search and seizure Order on certain digital money lenders.

“As part of the operation, the JRETF together with the Nigeria Police Force and bailiff of the Federal High Court searched locations of the money lenders, extracted valuable evidence and in some circumstances prohibited or restricted continuing operations.

“In addition to the physical operation noted above, the Commission entered and served Orders on multiple financial institutions freezing or suspending operations of certain accounts which some of the money lenders have used to conduct implicated business or transactions subject of investigation.”

The FCCPC boss said that the Commission also entered and served wide-ranging orders on Google LLC (Play Store) and Apple Inc. (App Store) to enforce the withdrawal of certain applications where evidence has established inappropriate conduct or use of the application in violation of the rights of consumers.

“The Order of the Commission also prohibits acceptance and presentation of new applications for the same purpose without regulatory assessment and approval.

“The investigation is still active and ongoing.

The JRETF expects further and similar action as it continues to gather additional intelligence to that effect.

“In the interim, the Commission admonishes all the businesses that were subject of regulatory intervention on Friday, March 11, 2022, to cease and desist the interest compounding and loan repayment/collection practices that are the objects of this investigation,” Irukera said.

He, however, noted that in the event that any of those businesses continued or the Commission received credible evidence of such, violators would be subjected to the full extent of the law including prosecution.

“The Orders of the Commission are without prejudice to existing borrowers repaying any legitimate loans pursuant to fair and acceptable terms and conditions; or any modifications to previous terms and conditions that are considered onerous, inconsistent with prevailing law or general principles of transparency and fairness.

“The obligation to comply with the above extends to all operatives, employees or agents of the affected businesses.

“The JRETF welcomes any useful information that may assist this investigation.

The same may be provided at the Commission’s dedicated evidence gathering repository at: lenderstaskforce@fccpc.gov.ng.

Irukera said the Commission/JRETF would continue to provide updates to the public and invite consumers to support the investigation.

This, he said, could be achieved by continuing to provide actionable intelligence about persons associated with the businesses or practices, their telephone numbers and any other pertinent information.

 

Communication

Public Feedback: Lagos Announces Complaint Hotlines To Boost Transparency

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LASG Announces Traffic Diversion At Second Rainbow

The Lagos State Ministry of Transportation has announced dedicated phone hotlines aimed at facilitating public feedback and complaints regarding the activities of the Ministry and its Officials.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Oluwaseun Osiyemi who disclosed this also said this was sequel to Recognizing the importance of fostering transparency, accountability, and responsiveness in governance.

He subsequently provided phone numbers which citizens can call to channel and express their concerns, report grievances, and provide valuable feedback on transportation-related matters.

“Members of the public are encouraged to utilize this service responsibly by providing accurate information and details when lodging complaints or sharing feedback”, he said, adding that the Ministry assures the public of its commitment to addressing all inquiries and complaints promptly and effectively.

The hotline numbers for lodging complaints and providing feedback are as follows: 09020009000 and 09020004000.

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Communication

Fasting: Sultan Declares Monday, 1st Ramadan 1445 AH, Following Moon-sighting

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Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), has declared Monday, March 11, as the first day of Ramadan 1445 AH in Nigeria.

Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, signifies a month-long period of fasting, one of the five pillars of Islam. 

Abubakar announced the sighting of the new crescent in Sokoto on Sunday in a radio and television broadcast.

He said the new moon was sighted in different parts of the country and that reports of the moon sighting were received from Muslim leaders and organisations from across the country.

“After due verification and authentication by the National Moon Sighting Committee and states committees’ confirmation, as well as routine scrutiny, I hereby, announce the sighting of the new moon of Ramadan signifying the end of Sha’aban 1445 AH.

”In accordance with Islamic law, Muslims are to commence fasting on Monday accordingly,” he declared.

The Sultan urged Muslim faithfuls to devote themselves fully to the worship of Allah throughout the Holy Month, urging them to use the period to pray for the progress, peace and prosperity of the nation.

The Sultan also called on wealthy individuals to assist the poor and stressed the need for increased religious tolerance and brotherhood in Nigeria.

*Anonymous

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Communication

Looming Divorce: “My husband follows anything under skirt”, wife tells court

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…As another marriage hits rock over Wife’s monitoring of phone, husband’s lockouts 

Mrs Jane Ebi, a businesswoman, on Friday dragged her husband, Monday, before a Customary Court in Jikwoyi, near Abuja.

She accused him of “following everything under skirt”.

Jane, who is seeking a divorce, said that her husband is hot tempered, wicked, and had a bad attitude of getting drunk and following different women or anything under the skirt.

The petitioner alleged that her husband had been trying to get her out of the way by killing her.

She also told the court that her husband passes nights outside their matrimonial home.

“My husband always sleeps outside our matrimonial home with small girls leaving me and the children in danger.

“I have done all I can to make the respondent change from that life, but he has refused to change. It is on these grounds that I seek to divorce him,” She said.

The respondent, Monday, who is a driver, however, denied all the allegations.

The presiding judge, Doocivir Yawe, advised the couple to explore reconciliation and adjourned the matter until March 7, for a report of settlement or hearing. 

In another development, a businessman, Mr Ojo Owo, on Friday, dragged his wife, Muyibat, before a Customary Court in Jikwoyi, near Abuja, for always locking him out of the house.

Appeal Court Orders ASUU to Resume Work Immediately

His claims are contained in a divorce petition he filed against his wife.

“On several occasions, my wife locked me out of the house whenever I come back home late from work.

“She has the habit of monitoring my phone calls, picking my phone to go through my messages.

“She searches my calls log, picks and calls the numbers on my phone to insult, embarrass and call my customers names,” he alleged. 

The petitioner also accused his wife of sleeping around.

“She admitted this to me when questioned,” he claimed. 

The petitioner further told the court that he gives his wife money to take care of her hair.

“I also provide body creams and food.

“I don’t know why she is sleeping around; I beg this court to dissolve the marriage,” he said.

The respondent, however, denied the allegations.

The Judge, Thelma Baba, advised the couple to explore settlement options for the sake of their children and adjourned the matter until March 7, for a hearing.

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