Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) is tinkering with a regulation that will make it a criminal offence for anyone to use their mobile lines for fraud.
NCC Mulls Regulation to Criminalize Use of Mobile Phones for Fraud
Aminu Maida, executive vice chairman, NCC, who disclosed this in Lagos on Thursday during a meeting with media practitioners, however said that as of now, there is no consequence for using mobile lines for fraud, which is why many people have continued to perpetrate the nefarious act unchecked.
Maida said the regulation that will come up later this year would ensure that fraudsters using mobile lines for fraud face consequences.
The EVC also expressed concerns over people using other people’s lines to commit fraud because of recycling.
To address this, he said Nigerian banks would also need to continuously revalidate the ownership of numbers attached to bank accounts as telecom operators are bound to recycle and resell mobile lines not used for a certain period.
“We want to protect the integrity of our mobile numbers. When we don’t use it for a while, it has to be recycled and this exposes people to fraud. We want to create more awareness about this so that people can understand that there is a window during which if they do not use their line, it can be allocated to another person.
“People are using mobile numbers for a lot of frauds today and this is because there is no consequence. We are coming up with a regulation that will make sure there is a consequence for using your mobile for fraud.”
Maida added that the Commission would strongly exercise its regulatory authority and ensure that licensees comply with their obligations and meet agreements.
He said licensees must be ready to comply with the standards of the commission as well as ensure they keep to their part of any agreements made in any deal.
“Compliance is also another driver. As a regulator, as empowered by the NCA Acts and regulations we put in place. We have the powers to hold our licensees to their obligations” Maida said.
“So over the past couple of years, I think the industry has been in what I would say development phase, but it’s time we push ourselves into a maturity phase whereby we will be driving compliance. “Compliance would be something you’re going to be seeing that we drive very strongly.
“Whenever our licensees have an obligation to meet, we will be expecting them to meet those obligations. If they have agreements between themselves, we’ll be expecting them to meet those agreements,” he said.