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Nation’s telecommunication networks can handle increased demand for cashless transactions — NCC

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The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has declared that the nation’s telecommunication networks can handle the increase in demand for cashless transactions that has been observed since late 2022 in response to the failure of electronic transactions.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman, of NCC, made this known during an event to commemorate the ‘2023 World Consumer Rights Day in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said: “By the time cashless banking fully took off in late 2022, the connectivity platforms on which electronic transactions ride have become robust to the extent of being able to absorb the surge in demand for cashless transactions.”

He also stated that the commission has continued to implement a policy that ensured improved access to broadband connectivity and has through its Computer Security Incident Response Team constantly alerted consumers to cyber threats that could have led to the compromise of their financial profile through the execution of malicious codes by threat actors.

Danbatta mentioned that the launch of 5G in the country will increase the deployment of telecom infrastructure which will trigger high demand for data services which will result in increased energy consumption for the network infrastructure.

Speaking on the theme: ‘Empowering Consumers through Clean Energy Transition,’ he stated that it was time for the industry to begin to explore green and sustainable power solutions.

He said: “Owing to the overall energy challenges of the nation, the 54,000 Base Transceiver Stations scattered across the country depend on diesel generators with the attendant noise and environmental pollution.

“Some of these BTS operate on diesel generators for 24 hours across seven days of the week in some locations. Therefore, transitioning to a renewable energy source like solar power will significantly reduce the menace of pollution from individually-powered generators.”

He added that the commission is currently working, with other relevant agencies, to develop regulations on e-waste.

In February, cashless transactions fell by 4.83 per cent to N37.67tn from N39.58tn in January. This was despite a 41.29 per cent month-on-month volume increase to 901.46 million in February from 638 million in January, indicating an increase in the number of failed transactions.

Some experts blamed the increase in failed transactions on an overwhelmed network backbone.

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