From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), telecom users and service providers on Thursday met in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on how to checking rising cases of cybercrime that has become a thorn in the flesh of millions of Nigerians.
The stakeholders met during the 102nd edition of Consumer Outreach Programme (COP), held at Mapo Hall, Ibadan with the theme: ‘Mitigating the Effects of Cybercrime: Roles of Telecoms Consumers.’
The programme was attended by the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun; Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism in the state, Mr. Toye Arulogun, a delegation of NCC, representatives of service providers and other stakeholders.
Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau of NCC, Mrs. Felicia Onwuegbuchulam, represented by Head of Legal Services of the Commission, Alhaji Bashir Idris, said cyber space covers everything consumers do online or with computing devices, including mobile phones, tablets and personal computers.
She noted that cybercrime “is on the increase,” urging service providers to always demonstrate “clearly to our esteemed consumers measures put on their various networks, and the role they think consumers should play towards safeguarding their subscribers from cybercrimes attacks.
“The Commission is committed to using its various outreach programmes to embark on series of awareness campaigns with a view to keeping consumers abreast of the risks associated with being online, enlightening them on safety measures to be taken once they use connected devices as simple as feature phone, smartphones, and other more sopbosticated Internet-enabled devices.
Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau of NCC, Alhaji Ismail Adedigba, said the theme of the outreach was carefully chosen in order to sensitise telecoms consumers about the rising wave of cybercrimes in its various forms, the dangers they pose, as well as the role which telecoms consumers are expected to play in reducing the impacts of cybercrimes on them.
He stated that the commission has initiated a process to establish an Internet Industry Code of Practice for Internet service providers in the country, adding that code “is a regulatory intervention that will not only help to secure the country’s cyber space against imminent threats from cyber attackers, but also address such issues aa online child protection, privacy and data protection, objectionable content, among others.”
Adedigba noted that while regulatory intervention and other initiatives “are ongoing to sanitise our Internet Space, telecoms consumers, majority of whom now use Internet-enabled and other smart devices, must play their role.”
Oba Balogun, in his address, said the outreach was very educative ro him, saying: “I have learnt a lot from this programme. I have also been a victim of call masking or refiling in which I would receive some calls from abroad and local number would display on my phone in Nigeria. I did not know before, and now I have been educated. I will report the numbers to NCC.”
Arulogun also noted that the hours “I have spent here, I like to commend NCC for this very educative programme. The issue of cybercrime has become a national disgrace, local calamity and a cause of individual trauma. It is very important to be educated.”
Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau of NCC, Mr. Banji Ojo, said between “Janaury 2017 and December 2018, a total of 31,202 consumers have been educated on their rights and privileges with respect to provision of telecoms services,” adding that within the same period, “the commission received a total of 118,784 complaints from consumers, of which 92,757 (78 per cent) were successfully resolved to the satisfaction of telecom consumers.” He stated further that till date, more than 12 million telecom consuthat have activated Do-Not-Disturb (DND) code.