The Federal executive Council (FEC) Wednesday approved N 1.8 billion for the deployment of regulatory systems in the Nigerian telecommunications industry.Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami, said this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the weekly FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.“The first memo that was approved by the Federal Executive Council is for the deployment of regulatory systems in the telecommunications industry, to be implemented by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).“The system has two components; number one is the deployment of a regulatory system to monitor, detect and block SIM box traffic. It is going to be implemented at the cost of N804, 122, 897.50 by NCC. This deployment is to fight what is called voice traffic termination fraud.“The system will support our country in two major ways of addressing challenges of insecurity because sometimes you will receive a call with a local number that is set up as an international number; sometimes, a call can come in but the number will not show; sometimes you will receive a call with a cloned number so you need to investigate further to know who actually made the call. So using these systems, the NCC will be able to immediate address such criminal tendencies on behalf of the Nigerian government.“The second one in the same memo is the deployment of a regulatory system to monitor, detect, block, and call masking traffic at the coat of N1, 049, 790, 713. 58. They are all forms of fraud committed by criminals. This will enhance revenue generation by our government because the use of any international number will attract higher tax but if it appears as a local number, government would be short-changed,” he said.He said the President had already approved the deployment of the systems to enhance the security of all citizens, especially mobile phone users.He said the council also approved the distribution of 6000 e-pad mobile devices to tertiary institutions across the country by the Nigerian Communications Commission.“In this phase of President Buhari’s intervention an approval has been granted to the NCC at today’s cabinet meeting to distribute 6000 e-pad mobile devices to higher institutions all over the country. In the northern part of the country, 2400 of such devices would be distributed; the same number for the Southern part and a special allocation for Abuja and Lagos, where both of them are going to share the remaining 120,” he said.The minister said the recent drop in the number of internet users in the country was as a result of government’s insistence on the use of National Identification Number (NIN) to register new subscribers.He said over 12 million that have dropped are mostly criminals that cannot come out to regularise their numbers.Also speaking, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said the council approved N145 million for the procurement of an office accommodation for the Federal Character Commission (FCC) in Bayelsa state.He said N136.2 million was also approved by the council for the procurement of operational vehicles for the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA).
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