The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta today highlighted some risks associated with using digital/telecoms platforms for carrying out non-cash financial transactions.

The telecom regulator boss, who was speaking as a Guest Lecturer at the 5th Annual Bullion Lecture, organised by the Centre for Financial Journalism, noted that just like the two sides of a coin, the Commission is mindful of the risks associated with the use of telecoms platforms such as voice, data and text for carrying out financial transactions.

He said these risks come in form of ‘e-fraud’, stressing that the Commission has received reports that cybercriminals, hackers and other unscrupulous elements are exploiting online platform vulnerabilities to gain illegal access to bank accounts through phishing and smishing.

“We are aware of 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, whose lecture titled is ‘Driving Pervasive Broadband Penetration to Deepen Digital Financial Inclusion for Nigeria’s Socio-economic Transformation’ admitted.

He disclosed that desirous of addressing this issue, the NCC, in November, 2019, inaugurated a multi-sectoral Committee to develop an MoU on financial frauds, which have been discouraging many Nigerians from embracing digital financial services, despite the fact that digital services are available and accessible to them.

The inauguration of the 26-member Committee, according to Prof. Danbatta comprises the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Competition & 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), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and the Federal Ministry of Justice.

The inauguration, the NCC’s Boss noted goes to demonstrate NCC’s unflinching commitment to not only provide digital platforms to enhance financial inclusion, but also forge necessary partnership to protect such platforms for the users.

He believes that successes recorded from this effort will, no doubt, complement similar existing inter-agency an inter-stakeholder collaborations aimed at strengthening protection of Nigerians, who use mobile-based digital platforms to carry out financial transactions.


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