Nigerian Telecoms Regulator Stresses Role of ICT in Fighting Financial Crimes

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that effective use of information and communication technology (ICT) is crucial in combating financial crimes.

The NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman, Aminu Maida, said that ICT systems are critical for preventing and investigating financial crimes or mitigating the risks associated with virtual assets in the financial markets.

He was speaking at the 11th Anniversary Lecture Series of RealNews Magazine in Lagos.

Maida said that financial crimes include insider abuse, money laundering, terrorism financing, embezzlement, and fraud. He said that these crimes have a huge economic and social impact and can also be linked to violent crimes.

The NCC Boss said that the scope of financial crimes has broadened as a result of increasing adoption of digital technologies, the emergence of new technologies, and the often-transnational nature of the crimes.

He said that ICT systems can be used to track the movement of illicit funds in and out of the country. He said that data analytics and artificial intelligence can be used to identify suspicious patterns and nip them in the bud.

Maida said that the NCC has established a Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) to handle security incidents that can affect the operations of organisations and individuals. He said that the NCC has also incorporated biometric authentication in the use of telecom services and financial transactions on telecom carriers with strict enforcement of compliance by the licensees.

Maida said that the NCC is also working with other stakeholders, such as the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), to combat financial crime.

He said that the NCC is also investing in ICT solutions and is developing a multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder strategy to combat financial crime.

Maida said that the public needs to be educated about internet safety and that there needs to be increased collaboration and international cooperation to effectively tackle financial crime.

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