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Call Masking, SIM Boxing Fraud Cost Nigeria $3bn



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  • Call Masking, SIM Boxing Fraud Cost Nigeria $3bn

The Nigerian Communications Commission has said the revenue lost to call masking and SIM boxing activities in the country amounts to $3bn.

This is as telecoms operators lamented during the 85th edition of the Telecom Consumer Parliament in Lagos on Thursday that they were losing about 2.5 million minutes per day to these fraudulent activities.

Speaking on actions that had been taken by the commission to combat the menace, the Executive Vice-Chairman, NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta, said the NCC had tightened the SIM registration process across all networks to reduce the availability of Subscriber Identification Module cards for SIM boxing as well as address the security issues around the availability of pre-registered SIMs.

According to him, the action was necessary as some arrests made in Lagos two weeks ago showed that the perpetrators of SIM boxing had over 100 SIM cards registered with fictitious names and used them to divert international calls.

Call masking or refilling is a practice in which international calls are terminated in Nigeria as local numbers, using illegal SIM boxes loaded with several numbers.

Danbatta, who was represented by the Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, NCC, Mrs Felicia Owuegbuchulam, also called on the public to report cases experienced to the commission for investigation and necessary enforcement actions.

He explained that investigations revealed that the practice started in September 2016 when the commission reviewed and implemented the termination rate for international inbound traffic from N3.9 per minute to N24.4 per minute.

He added, “What is happening is a clear indication that some unscrupulous elements want to continue to fraudulently profit from the earlier lopsidedness in the international termination rate, which we had before the 2016 review.

“Also, the commission is in the process of choosing the best from the list of technology solutions used in other countries to block the devices, track and apprehend the culprits.”

Danbatta described call masking as a serious challenge to the telecoms industry, and a security and economic threat to the country and to consumers.

The Director, Legal and Regulatory Services, NCC, Mrs Yetunde Akinloye, pointed out that as of August this year, the commission discovered a 45 per cent reduction in call masking and 25 per cent drop in SIM boxing in July.

Speaking at the forum, a representative of MTN, Olumayowa Oloyede, stressed that virtually all operators lose between 500 minutes and 2.5 million minutes to call masking.

In order to find a lasting solution to the menace, Oloyede said the company was running trials on the technology solutions from companies that submitted their proof of concept to the NCC.

Sharing the experiences of 9mobile on the issue, a representative of the company, Mr Chidozie Arinze, said the firm had been able to detect and bar 1,000 lines suspected to be used in call masking daily.

He added that the calling line identity masking, which is often perpetrated by companies registered with the NCC, was easier to detect than SIM boxing.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.


Transcorp Hotels Expand into Marketplace, Launches Aura to Connect People, Hoteliers, Others



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Transcorp Hotels Plc, on Thursday, announced it has launched a new digital platform, Aura, through which people can book accommodation, restaurants and experiences.

Aura, Transcorp’s first in the alternative accommodation segment, is part of the company’s asset-light model, leveraging technology to deliver true hospitality, exciting experiences, and drive shareholder value.

It’s a new dawn in the hospitality industry! I am thrilled to introduce you to Aura by Transcorp, the digital platform we are using to connect people to quality accommodation, great food, and awesome experiences,” Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Hotels Plc. Dupe Olusola said.

For more than 30 years, Transcorp Hotels Plc has been at the forefront of creating a superior guest experience at our locations. Today, our commitment to innovation has offered us an opportunity to extend this beyond the hotel premises,” Olusola added.

The launch of Aura by Transcorp is one of the most significant developments in the company’s history as it seeks to transform the travel and tourism industry in Africa by focusing on three important components of travel, whether for leisure or business — where you stay, what you eat and how you spend your time. With its people-driven hospitality model, Aura is set to revolutionise travel and help remind Africans of our deep history of hospitality.

Speaking on the launch of Aura, Obong Idiong, Chief Executive Officer at Africa Prudential Plc, Aura’s technology partners, expressed his excitement. “Finding the right accommodation when you travel can be incredibly complex. Options available for the right prices are often limited, and travellers sometimes end up with accommodation that taints the travel experience. Transcorp Hotels Plc has been able to fix that with Aura and we are proud to be associated with them.”

To ensure topnotch user experience, we built a solution to drive digital transformation through the adoption of shared living spaces for the Aura business. With an advanced search algorithm powered by artificial intelligence, Aura determines the relevance of locations taking into consideration, the customers’ preferences and requirements to meet them at the point of their needs,” Idiong added.

Priscilla Adeboye, a travel enthusiast and early adopter of Aura, said the global pandemic has pushed international travel down her list. “But I still want to be able to take some time off work or spend a weekend away from home with the family. I have found incredible homes on Aura that meet my need for space and privacy.


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Siemens Energy Nigeria Appoints Seun Suleiman as Managing Director




Seun Suleiman is the New Managing Director of Siemens Energy Nigeria

Mr. Seun Suleiman is the new managing director of Siemens Energy Nigeria, the company announced on Wednesday.

According to the statement released by the energy company, Suleiman will be responsible for the entire management of operations and decisions on business policies and corporate strategy.

Commenting on his appointment, Suleiman said, “It is an absolute honor to lead the business for Siemens Energy Nigeria and I look forward to delivering on the brand’s promise of excellence.

Suleiman joined Siemens Energy in 2014, bringing over 15 years’ experience and deep expertise in the private sector across Europe and West Africa.

The statement said, “He is an accomplished business strategist and success-driven leader with strong business acumen. Suleiman has also been a core member of the executive management team at Siemens Energy serving in roles as Sales Director West Africa – Service Distributed Generation Oil & Gas and Vice President Service & Digital.

“Prior to this, he also held various functional and managerial positions with ABB Ltd UK, ABBNG Nigeria, Schneider Electric Nigeria and Dresser-Rand Nigeria Ltd.

It added that Suleiman was experienced in establishing operational excellence with specific competence in the power, oil and gas sectors.

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FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations




FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations

The Federal Government on Monday said the Osubi Airport in Warri has been reopened for daylight operations.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Siriki, disclosed this in a tweet.

The airport was closed in February 2020 over mismanagement and debt allegation involving aviation service providers and airport management.

However, Oberuakpefe Afe, a lawmaker representing Okpe/Sapeie/vaie federal constituency, recently moved a motion for the Federal Government through the ministry of aviation and relevant authorities to reopen the airport for flight operations.

On Monday, Hadi Siriki said “I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in VFR conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth.

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