- Nigeria's federal Advance Fee Fraud Act of 1995, which prescribes tougher measures against telecommunications operators, is to be amended to avoid cyber-crime, the government said today. The proposed amendments to the National Assembly require all telephone and cyber café commercial operators in the country to register with the Nigerian Communication Commission.
This follows an approval by the Federal Executive Council after deliberation on a memo presented by the Ministry of Communications, according to a press release by the Ministry.
The Minister of Communications, Chief Cornelius Adebayo who briefed State House Correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja after the meeting, argued that the amendment was "aimed at fighting the increasing incidence of cyber-crimes."
By import of the new amendment, any customer or subscriber who fails foul of the Act "with the intent to deceive, supplies false information or conceals or disguises information required shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year or a fine of naira 100,000."
Furthermore, operators that with intent refuse to register with the NCC, the law prescribes a prison term of not less than five years without an option of fine, and in case of contingency offence, a fine of naira 50,000 for each day the offence persists.
Similarly, staff of financial institutions and bureau de change who aid in the contravention of the law are liable to a prison term of five years and a ban for a period of five years from their respective operating point.
In other Nigerian telecom news, the federal government said today it had "approved the review of some aspects of the 'Management Contract Agreement' between Pentascope International and NITEL/M-tel." Minister Adebayo disclosed this in Abuja at the inauguration of the NITEL Board of Directors on Tuesday.
The Minister explained that the review of the Management Contract Agreement is "in the best interest of Nigeria and the industry." He reaffirmed that one of the best values that could be added to the organisation is "a well-trained manpower capable of deploying resources, needed to make NITEL maximally attractive to prospective buyers."
Chief Adebayo challenged the board members to give guidance to and monitor performance of NITEL as well as its investment in M-tel. He further charged the board to work towards efficient service delivery and the resolution of some of the billing system, prolonged faulty lines, network congestion, poor interconnectivity, general customer dissatisfaction and public image.
The Minister enjoined the Board to "closely monitor NITEL's revenue Performance in order to justify government's huge investment on the hiring of 'Contract Managers'."
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