FEC approves N1.8b for equipment to block fraudsters in telecoms sector
• Okays distribution of 6000 mobile devices to institutions
• I won’t resign over jailbreaks, says Aregbesola
Federal Executive Council (FEC), yesterday, approved N1.8 billion for deployment of regulatory systems in the Nigerian telecommunications sector to tackle criminal activities.
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Ali Pantami, disclosed this while briefing newsmen at the end of the weekly virtual FEC meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Pantami said the approval of the new regulatory system at the cost of N1.8 billion will also help to support authorities in tackling the menace of insecurity in the country.
He explained that deployment of the system would specifically help to monitor, detect and block Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) and fight what he called voice traffic termination fraud.
He said: “The first memo that has been approved by the Federal Executive Council is for the deployment of regulatory systems in the telecommunications industry, which is to be implemented by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).”
He said FEC also approved the distribution of 6,000 e-pad mobile devices by the NCC to tertiary institutions across the country.
“In this phase of President Buhari’s intervention, an approval has been granted to the NCC at today’s cabinet meeting to distribute 6,000 e-pad mobile devices to institutions of higher learning.
“In the northern parts of the country, 2400 of such devices will be distributed; the same number for the southern parts. A special allocation will be made for Abuja and Lagos where both of them will share the remaining 120 units of devices,” he said.
FEC also approved N965.9 million for the purchase of 49 operational vehicles to enhance the services of the Nigerian Correctional Service.
Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said: “The Nigerian Correctional Service, through the Ministry of Interior, presented a memo to council and obtained approval to spend the sum of N965, 902, 524.58 to procure 49 operational and Green Maria vehicles.
“These 49 vehicles will complement the 513 operational and Green Maria vehicles already purchased between 2016 and 2020. This does not in any way mean that we have met the vehicle needs of the Nigerian Correctional Service.”
He also vowed he would not resign despite recurring incidents of jailbreaks across the country.
“As to whether it calls for my resignation, I still don’t see any need for that because it’s not for lack of preparedness that the attacks were successful. No,” he said.