Reps moves to protect telecoms subscribers as NIMC affirms 15,000 enrolment centres – Nexus News

The House of Representatives is moving to protect telecommunication subscribers against breach of privacies which often results in fraud and loss of funds.

Also, the lower legislative chamber has directed its Committees on Telecommunications and Banking and Currency to investigate the matter with a view to identifying victims and inadequacies in the necessary regulatory frameworks, in addition to providing solutions.

The decision followed a motion of urgent public importance moved at yesterday’s plenary, by Olusola Fatoba, who stressed that by standard practice, telephone numbers and email addresses are usually needed in opening a bank account, noting that in line with the regulations of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on dormant or inactive lines, network operators have the right and may provide subscriber an Identity Module (SIM) cards and phone numbers once they have been out of use for a given period of time.

He debated that though there exists the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) that seeks to protect the rights of natural persons to data privacy and provide safe conduct for transactions involving the exchange of personal data, among others, “the occurrence of a breach of privacy, cases of fraud and consequently, financial losses, are on the increase.”

Many Nigerians, Fatoba reported, had witnessed unlawful and unauthorized deductions from their bank accounts due to the fact that their banks keep sending their transaction details to their previous phone numbers that had been reassigned, thus “opening a dangerous window for fraudulent activities.”

The joint committee is to submit its report within four weeks for more legislative action.

THIS is even as the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), yesterday, disclosed its 15,000 National Identification Number (NIN) enrolment centers across the federation.

In a press release, the agency added that there are over 150 centers in 40 countries abroad.

Subscribers outside one of the NIMC center for complaints

The revelation comes on heels of the Federal Government’s order to all telecommunications operators to bar unlinked SIMs from making outbound calls.

The NCC had disclosed that 125 million subscribers had submitted their NINs for verification, leaving more than 72.77 million others on the receiving end of the government’s order.

Already, users with one complaint or the other, especially those whose SIMs were restricted after linkage, have continued to congest NIMC offices and telecoms service outlets nationwide.

Yesterday, the Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) stated that the problem some subscribers were having were not directly from mobile network operators (MNOs). They, however, pleaded to the affected customers, vowing to address the issues as soon as possible.

ALTON Chairman, Gbenga Adebayo, on a live programme, noted that the challenge had to do with backend infrastructure from NIMC, saying: “But I can categorically say we are working together to resolve the challenges.”

Read Also: 9 policemen discharged for mobilizing colleagues in failed strike over poor salary 

Also on the show, President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers of Nigeria (NATCOMs), Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo, pleaded to the government to make the exercise open-ended. He emphasized that over 70 million users, mainly those in the rural areas, have not been captured.

Also, rights activist, Chief Malcolm Omirhobo, has implored the government to lift the restricting order on uncaptured SIMs.

According to the lawyer, the lift would check undue hardship on Nigerians pending the determination of his case.

Omirhobo, in a letter to the Federal Government, sent via the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said: “I find the action of the FG very disturbing and out of line with the tenets of rule of law taking into account the fact that | have two pending public interest cases on the above subject matter against her in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/87/2021 between Chief Malcolm Emokiniovo (suing for himself and the Nigerian public) Vs. the Federal Government of Nigeria & 10 Ors pending before the Federal High Court, Lagos Judicial Division and Appeal No: CA/ABJ/CV/845/2021 between Chief Malcolm Emokiniovo (suing for himself and the Nigerian public) Vs. The Federal Government Of Nigeria & 3 Ors pending before the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division.”

He added: “The fact that the subject matter surrounding your order is sub judice makes it incompetent and contemptuous of the court of law as you have gone as far as pre-empting the court on the outcome of the said cases and thereby foisting a fait accompli on the court.”

Omirhobo stressed that the restriction is an order in contempt of the court of law and out of line with the rule of law.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *