The key to combating financial crimes linked to the telecommunications industry in the past four years put at N12.5 billion by some reports is through collaboration between various stakeholders in the industry, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said.
The Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau of the Commission, Alh. Alkasim Abubakar Umar stated this at the 2nd Quarter 2023 Industry Consumer Advisory Forum (ICAF) meeting in Lagos.
He said since the increasing access to mobile phones and internet connectivity has also opened new avenues for criminals to exploit unsuspecting individuals through various forms of electronic fraud, the only way out of the quagmire is a collaboration between stakeholders leveraging the telecom infrastructure.
“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. Thus, we call on all stakeholders to put a hand on the desk in combating the menace of e-fraud,” he said.
He stated that is why the ICAF becomes necessary to serve as a platform to share best practices, exchange knowledge and explore innovative solutions to stay ahead of the ever-evolving tactics employed by fraudsters.
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,” according to several reports.
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.
The ICAF provides stakeholders including telecom operators, financial institutions, law enforcement agencies, government bodies, and concerned citizens to come together to collaborate and devise effective strategies to combat e-fraud.