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NCC, other telecom regulators set to combat e-fraud, standardize regional roaming tariffs

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The Nigerian Communications Fee (NCC) and different telecoms regulators beneath the auspices of West African Telecoms Regulators Meeting (WATRA) are set to develop technical and regulatory modalities geared toward combating rising wave of digital frauds, and standardising regional roaming tariffs within the sub-region.

This was the crux of a two-day assembly organised by WATRA in collaboration with the Financial Group of West Africa States (ECOWAS), which began on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 at Rockview Resort in Abuja.

The assembly, which was attended by representatives of telecoms regulators from international locations throughout West Africa, supplied a platform for key members and stakeholders to deliberate on constructing a unified market in telecommunications companies in West Africa, to fight roaming and cyber-related frauds, and obtain the standardisation of roaming tariffs amongst ECOWAS member-states.

Addressing stakeholders on the assembly, Govt Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, who can be the Chairman of WATRA, underscored the centrality of the assembly by emphasising that, as companies transfer on-line, the fraudsters are additionally going digital.

Danbatta, who was represented by NCC’s Director, Technical Requirements and Community Integrity, Bako Wakil, stated, primarily based on this reality and to be able to give West African residents and companies the arrogance to completely make the most of the big advantages of Info and Communications Expertise (ICT), there was a necessity for regulators to tame and outpace the fraudsters.

“About 75 per cent of commerce inside ECOWAS is casual, and thus poorly recorded. Due to this fact, digitising this commerce via using many types of digital funds is a big step in direction of formalising, governing and boosting intra-ECOWAS commerce actions. Our ambitions are to formalise casual commerce, together with agricultural commodities in addition to boosting intra-regional commerce and this requires us to enhance collaboration on combating digital fraud,” Danbatta stated.

Danbatta knowledgeable the delegates to the discussion board that digital fraud is not only an African or a West African concern however a worldwide phenomenon. He cited research that exposed 54 per cent of customers within the European Union stated they’re almost certainly to come back throughout deceptive/misleading or fraudulent commercials or affords on the Web.

On the regional roaming service, the WATRA Chairman stated the Meeting has the imaginative and prescient of a ‘Digital ECOWAS’ the place improved sub-regional roaming regulation will help to facilitate an financial integration within the area.

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“Our residents, merchants and corporations will commerce higher once they can use their telephones to name contacts in different ECOWAS international locations and once they can use their knowledge subscriptions at no further value whereas travelling or doing enterprise inside the area. So, lowering and finally eliminating the price of roaming may also be a really important contribution in direction of boosting commerce inside the area,” Danbatta stated.

The EVC expressed satisfaction on the degree of collaboration amongst nationwide regulatory authorities within the sub-region on the one hand; and between WATRA and ECOWAS, to realize a typical purpose, alternatively, describing such synergy as a terrific indicator of progress and internalisation of greatest world practices.

“I’m more than happy to see the wonderful collaboration and the sharing of workload between the telecommunications physique and personnel inside ECOWAS and WATRA. Their roles have turn into complementary and mutually reinforcing-policies legislative frameworks which have been designed on the ECOWAS degree, whereas WATRA does the follow-up work of information-sharing, dialogue and studying dispersal amongst regulatory authorities. It’s certainly turning into a well-articulated symphony,” he added.

Earlier in his welcome handle, the Govt Secretary of WATRA, Aliyu Aboki, emphasised the worth of a trusted digital financial system to any nation. He cited a research by Accenture, which concludes that “a trusted digital financial system would stimulate 2.8 per cent further development for main companies, with the brand new transactions generated totaling $5.2 trillion of worth creation within the financial system,” therefore, the institution and operationalisation of nationwide and regional anti-fraud committee.

Aboki recommended ECOWAS for “permitting this regional sharing of the big process of constructing Digital ECOWAS to work very properly via WATRA, which is a regional manifestation of this collaborative construction”. The WATRA Chief restated that WATRA, as a mechanism for regional regulatory collaboration, will work in unison and guarantee its imaginative and prescient is speedily executed by ensuring that no nation within the area is left behind.

Talking on the discussion board, the Performing Director, Digital Economic system and Put up, ECOWAS, Dr. Raphael Koffi, famous that whereas e-fraud within the provision of communication companies has at all times been a problem being collectively tackled, variance in termination charges agreed in industrial roaming agreements has additionally constituted an impediment to harmonization of roaming tariffs which, he stated, collaboration between WATRA and ECOWAS is about to realize.

Members on the occasion had been up to date on the standing of the implementation of the Elimination of Surcharges on Worldwide Visitors (SIIT) on ECOWAS international locations; institution of a uniform tariff cap for roaming name termination within the ECOWAS area, amongst others.

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