NCC collaborates with NSA to stop call masking

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Prof. Umar Danbatta

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC says it is collaborating with the Office of the National Security Adviser, NSA to address the issue of call masking.
Speaking at the Consumer Conversation programme in Bida Niger state, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, who was represented by the Head of zonal operations Helen Obi said the collaboration became necessary because the continued masking of calls by some people pose serious security threat to the nation. According to the Obi, the Commission is poised at nipping the menace in the bud because Call masking apart from constituting security threat, it equally deprives revenue for the government. She said the NCC is also working on deploying technological solutions that would arrest the culprits that are bent on caring out such nefarious activities. ‘‘Call masking is a technology used by some people to mask calls that should come in as International calls with local numbers, they pose as security threat. ‘‘We are in collaboration with the office of The National Security Adviser. Recently also the National Assembly mandated the Consumer Protection Council to look into issues concerning that, so as not to put consumers at a disadvantage and NCC also is working on deploying technological solutions to finding out and arresting culprits that are bent on caring out such nefarious activities. ‘‘NCC is against call masking because it poses security threat and also deprives revenue for the government.’’ On double registration of Sim cards, she said NCC’s team recently that went to Nassarawa state on surveillance activity as regards to illegal SIM card registration, got findings that such activities are going on and NCC in collaboration with the Police and NSCDC made some arrests and handed the culprits over to Police. ‘‘NCC is following up to ensure that the prosecution that is needed is done to bring to the act to barest minimal. ‘‘The issue of pre-registered SIM card knowing the security threat it brings in the society, NCC is constantly doing something about it,’’ she added. On the consumer conversation, she charged consumers to take advantage of sending “STOP” to the 2442 code to stop all unsolicited text messages, or “HELP” to the same code to be availed with options of interest, stressing that when issues are not resolved by their telecom operators or if still not satisfied they should make complaints to the Commission via its toll-free line 622. The NCC zonal head said the program was aimed at protecting, educating, and empowering telecom consumers to know their rights as they play a strategic role towards ensuring sustainable growth and development in the telecom sector adding that the Commission is not leaving any stone unturned in enduring the consumer gets satisfaction from the services rendered by their telecom operators. ‘“What we have come to do here is Consumer centric and to make sure that Consumers are well-informed, and make informed choices in using ICT and also to know that they have rights and privileges from the service providers, if they are not getting satisfactory services we have opened up platforms for them to make complaints to NCC after they would have complained to their service providers and if they are not getting any satisfactory solution we have the DND and we have our 622 which the Consumer can call and the NCC is ready to follow the complaints to logical conclusion.’’ She appealed to consumers to stop the vandalization of telecom infrastructures, explaining that the Commission had set up key performance indicators aimed at accessing how compliant telecom operators are complying with the extant laws to ensure high quality of service across the country. Also speaking at the event, the chairman traditional rulers in Niger state, Esu Nupe Alh Yahaya Abubakar, who was represented by Phamarsist Yahaya Mai Yaki applauded the Commission’s efforts in ensuring the consumer enjoys quality service and called on the service providers to ensure consumers’ satisfaction.

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