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By Celestine Okafor (Editor-in-Chief)

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has, once again, given expression to its commitment to reach all categories of telecom consumers, with the launch, on Friday in Benin, a consumer-centric outreach programme tagged, "Shine your eyes, no fall mugu", which literally translates to, "Be alert, Don't be a victim of fraudsters".

A statement on Friday November 26, 2021 by the NCC's Director, Public Affairs, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, said this programme initiative of the Commission’s Consumer Affairs Bureau (CAB), is specially conceived and implemented, using Nigerian pidgin.

According to Dr Adinde, it is intended for a segment of telecom consumer population who are more comfortable with localised communication that resonates with their reality.

The two-day programme, implemented in three phases, started with a road show on Thursday. The Show featured local artistes and comedians who displayed musical and other performances to amuse and entertain people to create awareness and sensitize telecom consumers about how cybercriminals may use telecom platforms to defraud unsuspecting members of the public.

The NCC's Public Affairs Director said "Today, the last day of the two-day event, will feature a 20-minute radio talk in Nigerian pidgin, to further create awareness and like the roadshow, to invite telecom consumers to an enlightenment forum where presentations will be made about tricks deployed by cybercriminals to defraud people online.

"The presentations will also capture measures to be taken by consumers and members of the public in order not to fall victim of fraudsters who may use telecom platforms to perpetrate fraudulent acts.

"Additionally, at today's enlightenment forum, drama, audio narratives and other attractions thematised on the centrality of vigilance, alertness and caution in the cyberspace by all users, will be featured".

The programme is said to be facilitated by a local partner who supports NCC, by mobilising critical segments of the public through opinion leaders and social groups to participate in the events, in order for them to be armed with the right information they may require to explore the Internet safely.

"These leaders and members of the public attending the forum, are expected to re-diffuse the messages to other members of the public and others in their socio-cultural groups.

"This programme, coming on the heels of NCC's National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (which occurred in October), and the annual National Cybersecurity Conference, which took place on 3rd November 3, 2021, is meant to reinforce the messages of cyber awareness, cyber vigilance, and cyber smartness to telecom consumers whenever they are online.

"The roadshow on Thursday commenced at Ekehuan Road, and the procession drove through Airport Road, to State Secretariat, Sapele Road and through round about to Ring Road, to Akpakpava, Dawson Road and back to Ugbowo and Uselu Market.

"The motorcade, the music, the displays by artistes and the underlying narration of the message of the outreach in Nigerian pidgin caught the attention of residents and passers-by who patiently listened to the messages. Information, Communication and Education (IEC) materials were also shared with the public at every neighbourhood the procession stopped to display and educate the public.

"More mobilisation campaigns and awareness creation will be made during the radio component of the sensitization today, happening at Vibes Radio, 97.3 FM at 8.45 a.m. Thereafter, the Enlightenment Forum will take place at Obey God Events Centre at Nova Road, opposite Uwasota Junction, Benin", Dr Adinde stated. NNL.

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