Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Stakeholders redefine stakes @87th Telecom Consumer Parliament - ITREALMS

Telecom consumers, Service Providers, other stakeholders, at the Sheraton Hotel Lagos venue of the 87th Telecom Consumer Parliament, reasoned with the Nigerian Communications Commission by upping concretely the deliverables in the fight against cybercrimes, reports ITREALMS.

The 87th edition of NCC's flagship consumer engagement and interactive programme, which focused on the role of telecoms service providers in addressing the challenges of cybercrimes, resolved that the NCC and Service Providers in the telecom sector should continue to sensitize telecom subscribers about cybercrime and other sectoral issues in pidgin and other local languages; and Service Providers should educate subscribers about cybercrimes during SIM Registration process as well as through End-of-Call-Notifications. 

The Parliament also agreed that all knowledgeable subscribers should act as ambassadors and educate their relations and relatives on cyber risks. Unanimously, the Parliament equally enjoined Service Providers to endeavour to implement "Know Your Customer" procedures on the subscribers in order to maintain a stronger and more credible database. In addition, the participants  agreed with the suggestion of the EVC that Service Providers should install firewalls on their networks. Finally, the participants affirmed that all  national efforts at addressing cybersecurity should be all-inclusive in order to be effective. 

Earlier, NCC's Director Consumer Affairs Bureau, Felicia Onwuegbuchulam, while delivering the welcome address told the participants that the TCP, speaks to Commission's faith in collaboration and consultation, and has become a platform for addressing critical challenges affecting the telecoms sector. The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, recalled the processes instituted by the Commission in this regard and drew the attention of participants to the fact that"risks and benefits are associated with revolutions and we need to focus on the risks even as we harness the benefits of the telecommunications revolution". 

Dr. Greg Ezeilo, a certified ethical hacker and information security expert, who presented the lead paper spoke about the sociology of cybercriminality, policy and legal framework required to deal with the challenges, as well as the role of the regulator and the service providers. In his paper, laced with concrete illustrations, Ezeilo demonstrated substantially with international anecdotes, the objective imperatives for multilateral and communal efforts to address all facets of cyber insecurity. 

Other speakers, including the chairman of the NCC Board, Otunba Olabiyi Durojaiye; and the Director General, National Lottery Commission, Lanre Gbajabiamila, spoke to the beauty of the event and made other concrete suggestions to deepen the increasing relevance of the Telecoms Parliament. After seeing a documentary on NCC's NCC's fact-based approach to conducting the Parliament, Durojaiye commended the Management of the Commission for making the forum to be like a real parliament which permits dissents and harnesses all shades of opinions. The Executive Commissioner Stakeholder Management, Sunday Dare, who was attending the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) meeting on behalf of the Commission, was represented at the event by Funlola Akiode, NCC's Director for Licensing and Authorization.

Several questions, comments and observations made by participants were addressed largely by the EVC, after which Zubairu Jide Atta led the 'parliamentary' discourse to articulate further the issues raised by the lead and other speakers in order to arrive at implementable resolutions. Ismail Adedigba, Head Information and Reference at the Consumer Affairs Bureau of NCC, thanked all the participants on behalf of the Commission and noted that NCC looked forward to working with all stakeholders on cybercrimes and other challenges of telecommunications in order to achieve a more robust regulatory experience.

Ebere Chidi/Editor

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