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NCC Act Obsolete, Needs Rejigging- CJN

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fabian tarpael, abuja

Justice Walter Onnoghen, chief justice of Nigeria, (CJN), has said that the Act establishing the Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC) has become obsolete and needed to be reviewed.

The NCC Act came into effect in 2003, 14 years ago, but the CJN said new issues and other technological challenges had arisen that require to be taken into consideration.

Justice Onnoghen made the remarks in Abuja, while declaring open the 2017 annual workshop for judges on legal issues in telecommunications organised by the NCC.

He said the law should be reviewed to bridge the gap created by technological advancement in the telecommunications sector following the invention of smart phones, tablets and expansion of wireless and broadband internet infrastructures in the country.

The CJN, who was represented by Justice Olu Ariwo-Ola of the Supreme Court, said: “It is important to mention that with the enactment of NCC Act of 2003, new issues and other technological challenges that have arisen that have not been adequately envisaged, for instance, the arrival of smart phones, tablets, expansion of our wireless and broadband internet infrastructures, have attracted a new breed of smart and intellectual subscribers.

“This category of subscribers rely on their devices to perform ordinary daily activities which have made consumers privacy protection very paramount. This has given rise to more sophisticated way of committing crimes.

Justice Onnoghen said it was necessary for judges to be updated with developments in the sector to ensure speedy dispensation of justice and commended the National Judicial Institute (NJI) for partnering the NCC to organise the annual workshop.

Professor Garba Danbatta, executive vice chairman of the NCC echoed the CJN’s position, noting that the telecoms sector has become sophisticated with inherent challenges bordering on cyber-security and cyber-crimes.

He said the workshop has become a platform to carry the members of the bench along on developments in the telecoms industry.

Danbatta who was represented by Sunday Dare, executive commissioner, Stakeholders Management, said: “The proliferation of the internet and the decreasing cost of technology has provided millions of users’ access to enormous resources with a resultant increase in cybercrimes.

“Cyber-criminals continue to develop new strategies to circumvent cybersecurity measures regardless of their sophistication. We are hopeful that in the continuing course of implementation of the cybercrime (Prohibition Prevention etc) Act 2015, cyber security will bestrengthened in Nigeria.”

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