In a groundbreaking speech at the 11th Anniversary Lecture Series of RealNews Magazine in Lagos, Dr. Aminu Maida, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), underscored the pivotal role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the fight against financial crimes. The event also marked his induction into the prestigious RealNews Hall of Fame in recognition of his outstanding contribution as the Guest of Honour.
Dr. Maida emphasized that effective application of ICT is essential for real-time surveillance, regulatory compliance, and secure data processing, offering robust solutions to combat financial crimes. These crimes, which involve transactions, misuse, deception, and manipulation of financial systems, encompass a wide range of offenses such as insider abuse, money laundering, terrorism financing, and fraud, among others.
Addressing a diverse audience, including representatives from the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Dr. Maida highlighted the growing concerns arising from the increasing adoption of digital technologies and the transnational nature of financial crimes. He stressed that while the complexity of ICT systems provides opportunities for cybercriminal activities, these very technologies can be harnessed to track illicit movement of funds.
“Nigeria’s telecoms sector has experienced significant growth, generating vast amounts of data daily. Advanced data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) enable us to identify suspicious digital patterns indicative of crime. Through collaborations with financial institutions, we can proactively prevent crime by monitoring real-time transactions,” stated Dr. Maida.
He further outlined the innovative solutions deployed to combat financial crimes, including blockchain, instant payments, AI, machine learning, data analytics, and regulatory technology solutions. Dr. Maida highlighted the establishment of the Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) within the Commission, incorporating biometric authentication in telecom services, and enabling digital forensics as crucial measures.
In addition to technological advancements, Dr. Maida stressed the importance of public education, understanding of internet safety, and international cooperation to effectively tackle financial crimes. He called for continued investment in ICT solutions and emphasized the significance of a multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder strategy, involving technology specialists, legal professionals, and legislators, to keep pace with emerging criminal methods.
The NCC’s commitment to combating financial crimes, coupled with its focus on innovative technological solutions, marks a significant step forward in Nigeria’s efforts to create a safer financial environment for businesses and individuals alike.