Reps Task NCC, CBN On ATM, Web fraud

The House of Representatives has challenged the Central Bank of Nigeria  (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to ensure all monies lost as a result of Card/ ATM and web-based fraud are refunded to the affected victims.

The resolution followed the adoption of the report of the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on Sim/Swap Fraud by the Committee of the Whole on Wednesday. 

The ad hoc committee was mandated in July 2019 to investigate the alleged subscriber identification module swap by service providers in the telecommunications, and banking sector. 

The resolution was a sequel to a motion moved by Ifeanyichukwu Ibezi (APGA, Anambra)

Mr Ibezi is no longer a member of the House of Representatives following his sack from the House by the Court of Appeal. 

While giving the synopsis of the report, Abubakar Fulata (APC, Jigawa), informed the House that Globacom Nigeria, a major mobile network operator in Nigeria, had refused to accept the letter sent to its headquarters. 

The committee, therefore, recommended the sanction of the company for disregarding the summon of the lawmakers.

The House Committee on Telecommunications was asked to “ensure that GloMobile is sanctioned by NCC for total disregard to the call of the House of Representatives; having deliberately refused to receive an invitation letter from the House; deliberately refused to submit and also refused to attend the investigative hearing on a subject matter in which Glomobile is one of the major Stakeholders.” 

Resolutions on preventing fraud 

The lawmakers adopted 22 recommendations of the committee and most of them were directed at the CBN and the NCC. 

The House directed the NCC to sanction all mobile network operators whose agents are involved in aiding and abetting SIM swap fraud in Nigeria and compel them to adhere strictly to guidelines and to serve as a deterrent to future offenders. 

The House also resolved that “National Identification Number (NIN) as required by section 27 of the NIMC Act No. 23 of 2007, be adopted as a requirement by MNOs for SIM registration – by linking National ID to a SIM card number, and validation/verification of a customer’s identification credentials against the central government identity database.” 

The Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy had started implementation before now. 

The federal government had in December 2019 directed mobile telecommunications operators to suspend sales and registration of new SIM cards.

The ban was lifted on the 19 April, 2021 though the government extended the deadline for linking NIN and SIM cards. 

The lawmakers, in another recommendation, urged banks to stop using SMS as a primary method of communication but should rather use encrypted messaging apps that are not prone to snooping.