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Cyber Frauds: NCC Warns Telecoms Operators of Losing Customers

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  • Cyber Frauds: NCC Warns Telecoms Operators of Losing Customers

Nigerians may be forced to resort to the old practice of digging and saving their monies in holes to avoid being victims of cybercrimes, if telecommunications operators fail to inspire customers’ confidence in the integrity of their networks, the Nigerian Communications Commission has warned.

The Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, who gave the warning at the 88th edition of the Nigerian Telecommunications Parliament in Abuja on Thursday, disclosed that the telecommunications body had established a Cyber Security Incidence Response Team in response to the growing threat of cybercrimes.

Recounting his own personal experience, Danbatta said the rate at which Nigerians were losing money to cyber fraudsters was on the increase, adding that the commission had to establish a counterforce for the telecommunications sector to complement efforts of the National Security Adviser.

He said, “The complexity of the networks is increasing and the complexity of the risks associated with the networks is also increasing.

“Everything is taking place in the cyberspace. The network can easily be penetrated. An unscrupulous person can penetrate the signal we send to our banks. What we don’t want people to see can be seen by the public.

“We must go back to the drawing board to inspire confidence in customers so that they can use the telecommunications networks. If we don’t do anything about it, we will go back to the Stone Age where people dug holes in their houses to keep their monies safe.”

Asked what telecommunications operators could do differently to secure subscribers, Danbatta said, “It is wrong for telecommunication operators to disclose the data of subscribers on their networks. Doing so is illegal. If such takes place, the subscriber in question can escalate the matter through the NCC, and the NCC will investigate and take necessary regulatory measures.

“At the national level, we have the Nigerian Computer Emergency Response Team that is domiciled in the office of the National Security Adviser. It was put in place to secure Nigeria’s cyberspace.

“The Cyber Security Act directed that all sectors of the economy should be protected. So, every sector is supposed to have a sectoral protection against cyber-attacks. That is why the NCC is in the process of putting in place a Cyber Security Incidence Response Team.”

In a welcome address, the Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau at NCC, Mrs Felicia Onwuegbuchulam, said that although cybercrime was a global phenomenon, it was very pronounced in Nigeria.

She said, “The issue of cybercrime is a global phenomenon with levels of pervasiveness different from country to country and from region to region. It is also more pronounced in Nigeria, as it costs individuals and organisations revenue losses, among other dangers it poses to victims.”

Onwuegbuchulam added that the NCC was committed to ensuring that the risks associated with the usage of the Internet by Nigerians were addressed.

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

Crude Oil

Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

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Oil

Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

Oil retreated from an earlier rally with investment banks and traders predicting the market can go significantly higher in the months to come.

Futures in New York pared much of an earlier increase to $63 a barrel as the dollar climbed and equities slipped. Bank of America said prices could reach $70 at some point this year, while Socar Trading SA sees global benchmark Brent hitting $80 a barrel before the end of the year as the glut of inventories built up during the Covid-19 pandemic is drained by the summer.

The loss of oil output after the big freeze in the U.S. should help the market firm as much of the world emerges from lockdowns, according to Trafigura Group. Inventory data due later Tuesday from the American Petroleum Institute and more from the Energy Department on Wednesday will shed more light on how the Texas freeze disrupted U.S. oil supply last week.

Oil has surged this year after Saudi Arabia pledged to unilaterally cut 1 million barrels a day in February and March, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicting the rally will accelerate as demand outpaces global supply. Russia and Riyadh, however, will next week once again head into an OPEC+ meeting with differing opinions about adding more crude to the market.

“The freeze in the U.S. has proved supportive as production was cut,” said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro. “We still expect that Russia will push for a significant rise in production,” which could soon weigh on prices, he said.

PRICES

  • West Texas Intermediate for April fell 27 cents to $61.43 a barrel at 9:20 a.m. New York time
  • Brent for April settlement fell 8 cents to $65.16

Brent’s prompt timespread firmed in a bullish backwardation structure to the widest in more than a year. The gap rose above $1 a barrel on Tuesday before easing to 87 cents. That compares with 25 cents at the start of the month.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and oil trader Vitol Group shot down talk of a new oil supercycle, though they said a lack of supply response will keep prices for crude prices firm in the short term.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

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Crude oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

Oil prices rose on Monday as the slow return of U.S. crude output cut by frigid conditions served as a reminder of the tight supply situation, just as demand recovers from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brent crude was up $1.38, or 2.2%, at $64.29 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate gained $1.38, or 2.33%, to trade at $60.62 per barrel.

Abnormally cold weather in Texas and the Plains states forced the shutdown of up to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude production along with 21 billion cubic feet of natural gas output, analysts estimated.

Shale oil producers in the region could take at least two weeks to restart the more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude output affected, sources said, as frozen pipes and power supply interruptions slow their recovery.

“With three-quarters of fracking crews standing down, the likelihood of a fast resumption is low,” ANZ Research said in a note.

For the first time since November, U.S. drilling companies cut the number of oil rigs operating due to the cold and snow enveloping Texas, New Mexico and other energy-producing centres.

OPEC+ oil producers are set to meet on March 4, with sources saying the group is likely to ease curbs on supply after April given a recovery in prices, although any increase in output will likely be modest given lingering uncertainty over the pandemic.

“Saudi Arabia is eager to pursue yet higher prices in order to cover its social break-even expenses at around $80 a barrel while Russia is strongly focused on unwinding current cuts and getting back to normal production,” said SEB chief commodity analyst Bjarne Schieldrop.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

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Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

Oil prices rose to $65.47 per barrel on Thursday as crude oil production dropped in the US due to frigid Texas weather.

The unusual weather has left millions in the dark and forced oil producers to shut down production. According to reports, at least the winter blast has claimed 24 lives.

Brent crude oil gained $2 to $65.47 on Thursday morning before pulling back to $64.62 per barrel around 11:00 am Nigerian time.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 2.3 percent to settle at $61.74 per barrel.

“This has just sent us to the next level,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York. “Crude oil WTI will probably max out somewhere pretty close to $65.65, refinery utilization rate will probably slide to somewhere around 76%,” Yawger said.

However, the report that Saudi Arabia plans to increase production in the coming months weighed on crude oil as it can be seen in the chart below.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister, warned that it was too early to declare victory against the COVID-19 virus and that oil producers must remain “extremely cautious”.

“We are in a much better place than we were a year ago, but I must warn, once again, against complacency. The uncertainty is very high, and we have to be extremely cautious,” he told an energy industry event.

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