Worried about the recurrent cycle of fraudsters in substandard mobile devices, the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), in collaboration with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and other government agencies, yesterday set up committees to combat the situation.
The two joint committees are, the Project Steering Committee (PSC), comprising the Infrastructure Concession & Regulatory Commission (ICRC).
Others are the Federal Ministry of Communications and the NCC, as well as the Project Delivery Team (PDT), which draws representation from the Federal Ministry of Communications, the ICRC, the Federal Ministry of Finance and the NCC.
The committees, with specific terms of references, are to work together to ensure the implementation of Mobile Devices Management Systems (DMS), which is a Public-Private Partnership project.It is aimed at combatting the proliferation of fake, counterfeit, substandard and cloned mobile communications devices in the telecommunication industry.
While inaugurating the committees in Abuja, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, said the move was in line with the mandate of the commission, as enshrined in the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003.It is to type-approve all devices used in the telecommunications industry and to ensure that all devices in the telecommunications industry are in line with agreed standards and specifications.
According to him, the principal objective of the proposed DMS project is to “establish a secure and comprehensive single-window solution that would enable the commission to implement a proven solution in the Nigerian environment that is sustainable and demonstrate value for money.
This is in addition to helping to address the various concerns that had been raised with the NCC from the ONSA, in our regular interactions on security matters, as it concerns the telecommunications industry.He said the increasing cybercrime; evasion of taxes, terrorism and health and safety concerns raised by the use of stolen, counterfeit and substandard devices in Nigeria is a responsibility, which the NCC takes seriously.
“In 2015, organised a stakeholder forum aimed at developing recommendations that could influence decision and policy directions, leading to solutions to combat the issue of counterfeit and substandard Information and Communication technology (UCT) devices in the country.
“Based on the importance of the project to the NCC, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and the ICRC were engaged for a no-objection to advertise for International Competitive Bidding (ICB) process towards the acquisition of an effective MDMS solution,” he said.He added that the ICRC subsequently recommended the establishment of the two committees to fast track the process.
Representative of the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu and Permanent Secretary at the ministry, Mrs. Nkechi Ejele, commended the NCC for the initiative, stressing that she was impressed with the comprehensive and clear terms of reference given to the committees.Also, Director, PPP Resource Department of ICRC, Michael Ohiani, said “The Commission would support the process to ensure transparency of the process and value for money invested on the project.