NCC sensitises students on consumer protection, e-frauds in financial services

*The Nigerian Communications Commission has organised a debate for secondary school students, in Abuja, to create awareness and save consumers from electronic frauds while educating the young population on proper use of e-channels for financial services as part of the Commission’s activities marking the 2022 World Consumer Rights Day

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In commemoration of the 2022 World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD), and in keeping with its tradition by giving further concrete expression to its consumer-centric strategies, programmes and initiatives in the West African economy, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has organised a debate for students in secondary schools as a pre-event programme in Abuja, FCT.

The NCC chose its theme for the debate as “Should Secondary School Students Use Mobile Phones To Enhance Education?”.

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The debate, which was held Monday, March 14, 2022, at the NCC Head Office Annex Auditorium, Mbora District, in Abuja, attracted participation in-person whereas other interested internal and external stakeholders were able to participate virtually via a Web link earlier made available to participants.

ConsumerConnect reports Mr. Efosa Idehen, Director of Consumer Affairs Bureau (CAB) of NCC, at the Secondary Schools’ debate during this year’s World Consumer Rights Day event with the theme: “Fair Digital Finance”, Monday disclosed that in tackling the apparently growing threat in the economy, the regulatory Commission would partner with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in order to tackle electronic frauds (e-frauds).

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Mr. Idehen said that 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 in Nigeria.

Hitherto, the NCC was said to have identified e-frauds as the biggest risk in the digital finance sector of the Nigerian economy, the menace which it noted has widely affected electronic payment solutions in the country.

The NCC Director of Consumer Affairs Bureau said: “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.”

Idehen also stated: “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.

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“The CBN rates e-frauds as the biggest risk in the sector which has widely affected electronic payment solutions.”

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

Attackers now targeted telecoms networks with intentions to disrupt service delivery and infiltrate their data bank, he stated.

Idehen, nevertheless, said that the country’s telecoms regulatory Commission actively, has collaborated with critical stakeholders and other relevant bodies to fight against e-banking fraudsters in the economy.

He further said: “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).

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“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 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.”

The NCC also noted: “For young people, access to information means better access to capital, markets and training needed to pursue career or studies.”

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

In the same vein, Mr Aliyu Ilias, Country Director of ‘Save the Consumer’, said the initiative had enjoyed six years’ partnership with the NCC.

Ilias assured that “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.”

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Mr. Augustine Nwaulune, Director of Digital Economy Department of NCC, also educated the students on digital finance, and the concept has made buying and selling easier.

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

A total of nine Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) across the FCT that participated in the debate 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.

Interestingly, JSS Kayada emerged the overall winner while JSS Area 10 emerged the first runner-up, as JSS Wuse Zone 3 emerged second runner-up respectively.

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