- Pantami's ministry and the Nigerian Communications Commission will monitor, detect and track dubious calls made from anywhere in Nigeria
- The NCC and comms ministry got N1.8 billion in order to ensure that Nigerians are protected from fraudsters who clone SIM cards
- The system will help the regulatory agency to block SIM cards engaging in dubious or fraudulent calls and activities from anywhere in the world
Nigeria is ramping up the fight against fraudsters who use phone and SIM cards to defraud the unsuspecting public.
The government has approved funds for the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) to track dubious calls made with the intent to defraud users.
Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N1.8 billion for the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and NCC to deploy regulatory systems in the Nigerian Telecoms industry in order to tackle criminal acts in the country.
Communications minister, Isa Pantami, disclosed this in a press conference with reporters in the State House, Abuja on Wednesday, December 8, 2021, after a meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari, as per a report by Nairametrics.
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What is SIM box
The Digital Economy minister stated that the recent system will aid the NCC to monitor, detect and block SIM box traffic, an interconnect bypass based on international calling.
Essentially, since call costs from outside the country are higher than costs of calls in the country, dubious people are using unapproved ways to direct international calls via VOIP and circumvent connection fees from abroad, as per a GMS article.
Pantami said this will also be used to fight SIM box traffic used for suspicious things.
The minister said the system would end voice traffic, stopping fraud on its tracks and generating revenue for the government, citing that the use of an international number would always attract higher taxes.
Fight against voice traffic termination fraud
The initial memo which is approved by the FEC for the deployment of equipment used in regulation in the telecoms sector is to be carried out by the NCC.
“The system has two components; number one is the deployment of a regulatory system to monitor, detect and block SIM box traffic. It is going to be implemented at the cost of N804.12 million by the NCC.
“This deployment is to fight what is called voice traffic termination fraud. The system will support our country in two major ways of addressing the challenges of insecurity.
“Sometimes, you will receive a call with a local number that is (dubiously) set up as an international number; sometimes, a call can come in but the number will not show.
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“Most times, you will receive a call with a cloned number so you need to investigate further to know who actually made the call."
According to Pantami using all these systems, a regulatory agency like NCC can instantly address such criminal tendencies on behalf of the Nigerian government.
Over N1trn revenue generated in 2 years
Legit.ng had also reported that in what can be described as a landmark achievement, the federal ministry of communications and digital economy under Isa Pantami generated N1.054 trillion as revenue for the federal government in two years.
This was disclosed by Pantami, minister of communications and digital economy in Abuja.
According to him, the digital economy sector played a huge role in lifting the country out of recession, with ICT recording the highest growth rate in the fourth quarter of 2020.