The Chief Justice of Nigeria, (CJN) Justice Walter Onnoghen has called for the review of the Act establishing the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) saying the Act 2003 has become moribund.
Justice Onnoghen explained that the Act called for urgent review to bridge the gap created by technological advancement in the telecoms sector following the invention of smart phones, tablets and expansion of wireless and broadband internet infrastructures in the country.
Justice Onnoghen spoke at Ibeto Hotels, Abuja, while declaring open the 2017 Annual Workshop for Judges on Legal Issues in Telecoms organised by the NCC.
Represented by Justice Olu Ariwo-Ola of the Supreme Court, the CJN 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 relies on their devices to perform ordinary daily activities which have made consumers privacy protection very paramount. This has given rise to more sophisticated way on committing crimes.
“The challenges posed by this new behavioral pattern has made it imperative to review the existing act in order to bridge the gap created by this technological advancement in the telecommunication sectors.”
He said given the importance of the telecoms sector to the socio-economic development of Nigeria, there is the need to properly regulate the sector to ensure compliance with existing law for the good of the country.
Justice Onnoghen said it was necessary for judges to be updated with developments in the sector to ensure speedy dispensation of justice and praised the National Judicial Institute (NJI) for partnering with the NCC to organise the workshop.
“ Over the past decade, our country has experienced a healthy increase in the numbers of service providers and consumers and this has made the sector very complicated and competitive, consequently this may result in a number of disputes and challenges that may need to be adjudicated upon.
“This informs the need for this annual workshop and aimed at equipping the judicial officers with the legal and technical skills in telecommunications to keep them abreast of global activities” Justice Onnoghen asserted.
NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman, Prof Garba Danbatta said the workshop has become a platform to carry the members of the bench along on developments in the telecoms industry, stressing that the sector has become sophisticated with inherent challenges bordering on cyber-security and cyber-crimes.
Represented by the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management, Mr Sunday Dare, the NCC chief 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 and others) Act 2015, cyber security will be strenghtened in Nigeria.”
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