The Nigerian telecoms regulator and Office of National Security Adviser are deploying technologies to address industry issues including fake mobile devices and tax evasion.
As at January, Nigeria has recorded 174,012,136 active telephony subscriptions, representing 124.29% teledensity, the industry’s indicator for number of active phone connections per 100 inhabitants living within an area, Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) market data reviewed by Technology Times shows.
Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC announced that a government-planned Mobile Devices Management Systems (DMS), under a Public-Private Partnership project, will check proliferation of fake, counterfeit, substandard and cloned mobile communications devices in the Nigerian telecoms industry.
Nigeria has recorded 174,012,136 active telephony subscriptions representing 124.29 teledensity, the industry’s indicator for number of active telephone connections per 100 inhabitants living within an area, as at January this year, Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) market information reviewed by Technology Times shows.
The telecoms regulatory chief says that government is worried by “the recurrent cycle of fraudsters deploying their trade via fake and substandard mobile devices.”
According to him, “the increasing cybercrime, evasion of taxes, terrorism and health and safety concerns raised by the use of stolen, counterfeit and substandard devices in Nigeria is a responsibility which the NCC takes seriously.”
To address these telecoms challenges, the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), in collaboration with NCC and other government agencies, has set up committees to combat the situation, Danbatta says.
He says the proposed DMS project will “establish a secure and comprehensive single-window solution that will enable the Commission to implement a proven solution in the Nigerian environment that is sustainable and demonstrate value for money in addition helping to address the various concerns that have been raised with the NCC from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in our regular interactions on security matters as it concerns the telecommunications industry.”
Under the plan, two joint committees set up include the Project Steering Committee (PSC), comprising the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), the Federal Ministry of Communications and the NCC; and the Project Delivery Team (PDT) that draws representation from the Federal Ministry of Communications, the ICRC, the Federal Ministry of Finance and the NCC.
Danbatta explains that “in 2015, the NCC organised a stakeholder forum aimed at developing recommendations that could influence decision and policy directions, leading to solutions to combat the issue of counterfeit and substandard Information and Communication Technology (ICT) devices in the country. Based on the importance of the project to the NCC, the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) and the ICRC were engaged for a no-objection to advertise for International Competitive Bidding (ICB) process towards the acquisition of an effective DMS solution”, adding that the ICRC subsequently recommended the establishment of the two committees to fast-track the process.