The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N1.8 billion for the deployment of regulatory systems in the Nigerian telecommunications industry in order to combat criminal activity.

This was revealed by Prof. Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, in a press conference with State House correspondents in Abuja on Wednesday following a cabinet meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The system, according to Pantami, will help the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) monitor, detect, and block SIM box traffic that is being used for dubious or suspicious transactions.

What the Minister is attempting to convey.
Pantami claims that the system will combat voice traffic termination fraud and increase government revenue generation, citing the fact that using an international number will always result in higher taxes.

“The first memo, which was approved by the FEC, is for the NCC to deploy regulatory systems in the telecommunications industry.

“There are two parts to the system: the first is the deployment of a regulatory system to monitor, detect, and block SIM box traffic. It will be implemented by the NCC at a cost of N804.12 million.

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“The purpose of this deployment is to combat a type of fraud known as voice traffic termination fraud. The system will assist our country in two major ways in dealing with insecurity challenges.

“Occasionally, you will receive a call from a local number that has been (dubiously) set up as an international number; occasionally, a call will come in but the number will not be displayed.

“You may receive a call with a cloned number, in which case you should investigate further to determine who made the call.”

“As a result of these systems, the NCC will be able to address such criminal tendencies on behalf of the Nigerian government,” the minister said.

The deployment of a regulatory system to monitor, detect, block, and call masking traffic at a cost of N1.05 billion is the second component in the same memo, according to him.

“This will help our government generate more revenue because any international number will attract a higher tax, but if it appears as a local number, the government will be short-changed,” he explained.

According to him, the president has already given his approval for the deployment of systems to improve the security of all citizens, particularly mobile phone users. President Buhari also approved the NCC’s distribution of 6,000 e-pad mobile devices to tertiary institutions across the country, according to him.

“2400 of these devices will be distributed in the northern parts of the country; the same number will be distributed in the southern parts.

“A special allocation will be made for Abuja and Lagos, and the remaining 120 units of devices will be shared between the two cities,” he added.

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