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Hi-Tech Heists Thrive as Nigeria Law Sleeps

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More Nigerians would continue to lose their hard earned savings to high-tech heists unless changes are urgently made to the laws of the country, a body of experts who gathered for Nigeria Telecom Device forum last week have found
Every minute, thousands of bank customers across the major cities are finding their deposits or a substantial part of it stolen by faceless crooks.
Police authorities confirmed that the e-payment fraud is on the rise while the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) put loss to a few billions of naira.
At present, there is no legal protection available for Nigerians who have come to embrace e-business suit containing Internet banking and the ubiquitous Automated Teller Machines (ATMs)
With Nigerians now carrying their banks on their laptops and on the breasts of their pockets (mobile phones, ATM cards), they are vulnerable to increasing number of criminals who use mobile phones, computers and network servers in the course of committing their crimes.
The experts said that proving these virtual crimes and securing a conviction for the crimes is difficult because of non-existent laws.
The experts included; Dr.Emmanuel  Ekuwem, president, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (Atcon), Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, his counterpart at Association of Licensed Telecom Operators, (Alton), Dr. Chris Uwaje, regional manager, D-Link West Africa, Tadasse Bekele, sales director, Harris Stratex Nigeria and  Sonny Aragba-Akpore, doyen of ICT reporting and head of news, The Guardian.
Others were, Bayo Atoyebi, Patrick Kentebe, Olawale Ige, and Michael Onyia, all commissioners of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Umoru Shaibu, representing, executive vice chairman, ZoomMobile, Lanre Ajayi, president, Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) and many others.
The theme of the forum was “Telecom Industry Fuelling the Future of e-Payment System” and was put together by NCC and Communication Week Media limited, publishers of Nigeria CommunicationsWeek.
Returning a damning indictment on the present legal framework of e-payment, the experts called for an urgent review to halt the huge losses to Nigerians.
For instance, internet crime has only a broad, yet vague definition in section 3(h) of the Telecommunications and Postal Offences Decree No. 21 1995, Act Cap. T4 L.F.N. 2004.
It stated that  “any person who inter alia engages in computer fraud or does anything relating to fake payments, whether or not the payment is credited to the account of an operator or the account of a subscriber is guilty of an offence”.
Funny enough, the same law repealed by Nigerian Communications Commission Act No. 19 2003 and the offence in the repealed law is not mentioned in the new Act.
Elsewhere, The Nigerian Consumer Protection Council Act, 1992 is too general in terms of its provision.
The relevant section 2(j) provides that “consumer interests receive due consideration at appropriate forum and provides redress to obnoxious practices or the unscrupulous exploitation of consumers by companies, firms, trade association or individual”
According to the experts, this is too vague to serve an electronic consumer interest.
They said there is need to have some legal framework for e-Signature as it assures that Nigeria accepts the legal validity of e-Signatures such that services requiring or relating to e-Signatures can be provided in the Nigerian market without national/geographic obstacles.
Another stunning finding is the rather sloppy attempt by the government to reduce cash settlement with the e-Payment initiative without first of all putting in place laws to guide it.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is relying on the powers conferred on it by its Act

 


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Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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MTN Launches ‘Visitor SIM’, Designed for Guests Coming into the Country

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MTN Nigeria has announced the introduction of its new Visitor SIM specially designed for guests travelling into the country.

The Visitor SIM comes pre-loaded with an appealing package that includes local and international call and data bundles.

This package will enable people visiting from other countries to stay connected with their friends, family and business associates on MTN’s super-fast network.

MTN VisitorSIMs are easy for inbound international visitors to acquire, activate and use, in addition to which they offer far better value than any roaming tariff.

Not available from any other operator, the service is poised to deliver convenience and the best-in-class customer experience in line with MTN’s brand promise.

According to Adekunle Adebiyi, chief sales and distribution Officer, MTN Nigeria, “The new Visitor SIMs will ensure that before setting foot outside the airport, people visiting Nigeria can plug in, reconnect – to loved ones, associates, tools and information, and begin sharing their remarkable experiences, with no concern about roaming charges.”

 

MTN Visitor SIMs are available in the arrival halls of international airports and other ports of entry.

They are valid for 14 days, which can be extended up to 30 days via MTN’s self-service menus or USSD.


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Nigeria COVID-19 Response: UNICEF, IHS Nigeria Collaborate to Contribute Medical Supplies

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United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) received the delivery of 115,800 COVID-19 test kits to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria. These supplies were funded by IHS Nigeria, the Nigerian subsidiary of IHS Towers.

Testing remains the mainstay of the response led by the Presidential Task Force and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the first step towards diagnosing the infection. Tests enable health officials to understand the COVID-19 status of an individual and link that person to care, support and treatment while contributing to the protection of families and communities.

“Testing remains a core strategy of Nigeria’s response to COVID-19. This is critical for understanding the burden of the disease on our population and targeting our response activities accordingly. The primary goal of the Nigerian Government is to control the spread of this disease.

“This donation from IHS Nigeria through UNICEF will contribute to the national stockpile of test kits managed by NCDC, and support efforts of the growing network of accredited laboratories across the country for the testing of COVID-19. We are grateful for the continued support from UNICEF, IHS Towers and other partners.” said Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General, NCDC.

IHS Towers has been a strong and continuing partner of UNICEF. At the onset of the coronavirus in Nigeria in late February, IHS Nigeria provided funding to UNICEF to urgently procure essential supplies and equipment with which UNICEF supported the Government of Nigeria in its COVID-19 response.

“UNICEF is deeply appreciative of IHS Towers’ commitment to being a partner in UNICEF’s work in Nigeria. Once more, IHS has shown great generosity in supporting UNICEF’s ongoing efforts to work closely with the Government of Nigeria in the fight against COVID-19.

“I am very delighted to receive this huge contribution from IHS Towers, the benefit of which will reach many more children and their families“, said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Country Representative.

“We are proud to have played an important role in supporting the Government and our communities where we operate to provide crucial tools needed to fight this pandemic. We understand this virus is here to stay for the foreseeable future, but are confident that with our support, and that of our other private sector colleagues, we are helping to manage and mitigate the impact of the virus in our country” said Mohamad Darwish, Chief Executive Officer of IHS Nigeria.

This recent support of essential tests makes IHS Towers the biggest private sector donor for UNICEF Nigeria’s emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Coca-Cola, Red Cross Society Expand Fight Against COVID-19 In Nigeria

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In a bid to support the fight against the Coronavirus disease, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) along with its national society Nigerian Red Cross (NRC) has started the distribution of PPEs and risk communications efforts to the tune of N228 Million to support its COVID-19 interventions in Nigeria.

 

This is part of The Coca-Cola Foundation’s $2.5million grant to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the COVID-19 pandemic within the West and Central Africa sub-regions.

The grant, which leverages the long-standing partnership between The Coca-Cola Company and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), seeks to support national efforts in the fight against the Coronavirus disease through the provision of essential medical supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE) and risk communications to impacted communities, healthcare personnel on the frontlines and treatment centres across the country.

 

Speaking on the donation, Yebeltal Getachew, managing director, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, explained, “The Coca-Cola System (Coca-Cola Nigeria, Nigeria Bottling Company and Chi Limited) remains committed to providing support to the communities we serve during these challenging times.

 

“By providing healthcare workers with much-needed PPEs, we are confident that this will go a long way in ensuring their safety as they remain on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19.

 

“Coca-Cola is proud to support the Red Cross as we deliver on our purpose of making a difference across the world”. 

 

Medical supplies being donated comprise N95 respirators, surgical masks, examination gloves, face shields, medical gowns, no-touch thermometers, disposable aprons, heavy-duty rubber gloves, rubber boots, basic masks, disposable gloves, and hand sanitizers.

 

Expressing his gratitude for the donation, Abubakar Kende, secretary-general for the Nigerian Red Cross Society explained, “We have identified the facilities in urgent need of these PPEs in consultation with NCDC and the Federal Ministry of Health and will subsequently be distributed to these centres.

 

“This will ensure that treatment centres across the country are properly equipped with necessary PPEs as we continue to fight the disease”. 

IFRC seeks to directly impact the lives of over 1.4 million people in Nigeria and across other countries in West and Central Africa under this partnership. For over a century, The Coca-Cola Company and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have sustained a rewarding partnership that has seen the rehabilitation and preservation of human lives across the world through the delivery of humanitarian aid and emergency response to communities affected by disasters.

 

 

 


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