NCC expresses concern over theft of Telecommunication infrastructure

Olubunmi Osoteku, Ibadan

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has expressed worry over the theft and vandalisation of telecommunication infrastructure across the nation.

This was made known at the third edition of Village Square Dialogue, a telecom consumer outreach programme organised for telecom consumers and stakeholders, held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

The Commission noted that security agencies alone can not provide all the needed security at all sites of telecommunication infrastructure, hence, the need for collaboration with stakeholders and consumers.

The Chairman, Board of Commissioners of NCC, Professor Adeolu Akande, emphasised the need to protect telecommunication infrastructure, saying without telecom infrastructure, communication with family and friends in distant locations, as well as banking, finance, education, and entertainment would be hard.

He noted that the event was one of the programmes designed to engage stakeholders in the sector, saying the decision to hold the event in Ibadan was borne out of pride of the town being the pace setter state and most populous town in black Africa.

“Telecom infrastructure is important, and we must ensure we take it as Critical National Infrastructure. We need the cooperation of members of the public and consumers to protect the infrastructure. We are doing this across the country to seek the support of Nigerians and telecom service providers.

“Issues like hostile communities, theft of diesel, batteries and power generators, digging up and cutting of fibre optic cables, sealing/locking up of Base Transceiver Station (BTS) sites and other disruptive activities must be tackled decisively by all of us. I, therefore, urge you all to see telecom infrastructure as your own and to protect them as communal property,” the Chairman appealed.

In his lecture entitled: “Protection of Telecoms Infrastructure for Improved Quality of Service: The Role of Residents,the Director, Consumers Affairs Bureau, NCC, Efosa Idehen, noted that one of the mandates of the Bureau is to protect, inform and educate the consumers on the need to guide and protect communication infrastructure.

He affirmed that the protection of public infrastructure is a collective effort and not meant for NCC or security operatives alone, saying: “Let’s all work together to ensure that the infrastructure is protected for better and quality delivery.”

The Chairman, Nigeria Lottery Regulatory Commission, Alhaji Fatai Ibikunle, thanked the NCC for the effective regulation of communication sectors in Nigeria and the NCC chairman, for counting Ibadan worthy of the sensitisation programme.

Speaking on behalf of Oyo state traditional ruler, Olubadan of Ibadaland, Oba Lekan Balogun, Chief Ademola Odunade, described the event as a welcome development, urging people to cooperate with NCC towards securing telecommunication gadgets.

Some of the stakeholders at the event include, community leaders, trade groups, union groups, market groups, security operatives, civil servants, paramilitary groups, religious groups, community development groups and social groups.

Others are telecom service providers, operators, consumer protection groups, right groups, youth groups and interest groups, among others.




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