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FG plans to acquire N1.8bn telecom facilities to block fraudsters

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The Federal Executive Council, on Wednesday, approved the procurement of telecommunication equipment that would be used to detect and block fraudsters using different SIM cards.

The approval of the new regulatory system is expected to support the country to address the challenges of insecurity, among others.

The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the virtual Council meeting presided over by the President, MajorMuhammadu Buhari (retd.) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Pantami explained that the deployment of the system would help to monitor, detect and block SIM cards, thereby fighting what he called “voice traffic termination fraught.”

He said, “I am here to present two memos approved by the Federal Executive Council. And these two memos are to be implemented by the Nigerian Communications Commission.

“The first memo that has been approved by the Federal Executive Council is for the deployment of regulatory systems in the telecommunications industry, which is to be implemented by the NCC.

“These regulatory systems have two components. Component number one is the deployment of a regulatory system to monitor, detect and block SIM box traffic. This is the first one and it is going to be implemented at the cost of N804,122, 897.50 by the NCC.

“This deployment of the system to monitor, detect and block SIM is to fight what we called voice traffic termination fraught. What the two systems will do is to support our country in two major ways in addition to many others.”

He explained that the system would play its part in addressing insecurity.

He further said, “Sometimes, you can receive a call, which you will see the number on the screen of your smartphone, It could be a local number, while the one calling you is using an international number. So, they set up the number as a local number, not international.

“Even if you report that, you will not be able to identify the personality easily. And the second one, you receive a call, and the network will show to you as an unknown number or a private number. Meanwhile, it is an important call that you need to investigate further about who actually called you.

“And thirdly, this is in the area where someone can even clone a number. It is your number, but somebody will clone it and make a call with his phone, but bearing your number, and you are not even aware of it. So, many people that plan to commit crime usually deploy one of these ways. And sometimes, if some people want to underpay tax and other government entitlements, they usually support any process that will make an international call appear as a local call.”

He added that the President had directed the systems to be deployed.

“So, I believe that these two systems, number one, if leveraged by our security institutions, will support them in securing our country. And number two, it will support the Ministry of Finance, and their parastatals to enhance revenue generation for the Federal Government of Nigeria. This is the summary of the first memo.”

Pantami said the second memo was another special intervention of the Buhari regime.

“As part of the intervention of the current administration, the Nigerian Communications Commission has been directed to partake in policy implementation of what has been entitled as ADAPTI. ADAPTI means Advanced Digital Awareness Programme for Tertiary Institutions at the federal and state level.”

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