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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Sharing of devices: NCC warning, timely - ITREALMS

Features@ITREALMS ... making leadership SENSE with digital news!

In this era of National Identification Number (NIN), the implication of sharing mobile devices with unknown person has been stressed by experts at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) writes Remmy Nweke.

Preamble:
Ms Uloma Uba recently graduated and was posted to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja for her National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) programme. After completing her service year, she was retained by the office.
Her precise post was interfacing with those coming to the company, a private concern as a receptionist.
By weekend, following her first payday after becoming full staff, she wanted to make the first salary memorable by using a certain percentage to buy her much desired mobile phone, the Tecno POP4 (BC2); a 6-inche big screen, with 2GB RAM + 32GB ROM, 5000mAh Battery, Android 10, 8MP + 5MP Camera, Fingerprint -IceLake Green at ₦ 38,490.

Bitter week:
By Monday the following week, of course, she happily launched the mobile phone with her colleagues at the office as she looked forward to a better life.

Then came penultimate Wednesday, she welcomed Issah Abdul as usual. Issah has been frequenting their office which also offers business centre services. In the cause of today visit, Issa requested to use her phone to make an urgent that he is low in airtime but needed to make an important call.

Of course, Uloma confidently offered him, Issah, her new phone. In that interval, her attention was needed by a colleague in the nearby desk, so she faced that direction. By the time she finished with her colleague and turned to face Issah's direction, Lo! and behold Issah was nowhere to be found. At first, she asked her other colleagues and visitors alike at the reception if they saw when she handed over the phone to Issah and everyone said yes.

For them, it was like Issah was merely asking for his phone which was handed over to him and he left. She dashed outside the office, yet Issah could not be in sight and has literally disappeared with the three-day all new phone.

Prize of good samaritan:
Uloma returned inside her office to call her number and Issah answered and ordered her not to ever call the phone and her line again.

It was then that it dawned on her that her phone has been stolen.

As Uloma’s mishap was trending on social media, news broke at a shopping mall along Lekki-Lagos, that another good Samaritan, Mr. Igodo used his mobile phone to call an online hailing cab, Uber, for someone who said she was going to Ikeja earlier in the day, but had a flat battery.

Aside that they eventually charged his Uber account because it was linked to a wallet, he was some hours later arrested and taken to the Police station because the Uber man was reportedly missing. Mr. Igodo is now helping the security agencies on what he knows on the matter.

Criminal tendencies:
These series of criminal tendencies that obviously made the telecom regulator in the country, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to warn recently telecom subscribers on the danger of sharing devices, especially with someone they do not know very well.

ITREALMS reported that NCC accordingly, advised that telecom consumers who share their cell phones, National Identity Number (NIN), and Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards with others would be held liable for any crime committed with their SIM cards.

Director Consumer Affairs Bureau, NCC, Mr. Efeosa Edehen, warned participants at a consumer conversation event organised by the commission in Abuja, that Nigerians must be extremely careful with their devices so they do not fall into the hands of the wrong people who would use them to commit crimes and later be traced to the owners of the devices, NIN or SIM cards.

Know Your Right:
The conversation with the theme “Know Your Rights and Obligations as a Telecom Consumer” was aimed at enlightening consumers on the dangers of sharing such vital information.

The Commission, he said, plays a vital role in National Security and works very closely with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), security agencies, and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), stressing that “It also works with Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and other relevant bodies at ensuring security in the use of the telecom network.’’

Edehen also used the opportunity to enlighten parents and guardians on how to teach their children the proper use of the internet, advising them to “Ask how your children use the internet,’’ and urged them to make their children show them some of their favourite sites and discuss with them.

Your SIM, NIN is traceable:
He emphasized that parents should “Make them aware that there are things on the internet, which may upset them and that they can always talk to you, their parents, or any trusted adult within. Make sure your children realise that they should never give out personal details such as names, address, school names, and telephone numbers to online friends they do not know.”

Edehen cautioned Nigerians not to help any of the consumers to link their SIM cards with their NIN or give phones to other people to make calls, send texts, or use social media, because its not traceable to your SIM and NIN as the case may be.

“Your phone carries your identity and therefore should be protected and always be with you. Note that you will be responsible for whatever wrong/offense someone else committed while using your SIM card(s). So, be very vigilant,” he said, cautioning citizens, that “it is very important and necessary to register for National Identity Number (NIN) and to ensure your NIN is linked to your SIM cards.”

Further, he said consumers have the right to receive clear and complete terms and conditions for service agreement and disclosures of price for goods and services. Maintaining that the consumers have the right to affirmatively accept all terms and conditions before being charged for services.

“They have the right to be protected against fraudulent, misleading, and deceitful information, advertisement or labelling,” he said.

According to him, the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 (NCA 2003) and Consumer Code of Practice and Regulations 2007 (CCPR 2007) ensure that service providers deal reasonably with the consumers by providing them with information on their service.

Good Samaritan, good citizen:
He said that such information should be complete, accurate, and up to date in simple and clear language.

As much as the act of Uloma and Igodo were act of patriotism and being helpful to citizens in need, its important to note that time and era have changed.

Not necessarily canvassing that people should not help one another again, but if you must, its crucial to know such a person or even have second opinion or better still run a background check before such assistant.

If still not satisfied, kindly refer such a person to the nearest security officer or the Police in the environ.

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