NCC seeks Civil Societies support to safeguard telecoms infrastructure

By Na'ankwat Dariem, Abuja

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has called for the support of Civil Society Organisations to help safeguard telecommunications infrastructure in the country.

The Executive Vice-Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta said this during the 2023 Youth, Civil Society and Stakeholders Summit on Curbing the Destruction and Vandalisation of Telecom and other Critical National Infrastructure in Nigeria, on Thursday in Abuja.

Danbatta, represented by Chukuma Nwaiwu, Head, Wireless Network of NCC, said the Commission receive reports of telecom infrastructures vandalisation from the operating telecom companies.

He said these acts impact on the delivered quality of services and the availability of the digital platforms.

According to Danbatta, some of the impacts include “disruption of the network services and disconnection of digital platforms.

“Congestion of alternative backup routes/network,. Interruption of social and economy activities, loss of revenue. ripple effect on other networks and network elements and delay in network recovery.”

On the forth coming general elections, Danbatta, said that technology would play a crucial and key role in delivering free and fair elections to Nigerians.

He said that NCC is working very hard and collaborating with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that election results are transmitted electronically as required by law.

“We all have a duty to protect the national telecom infrastructures as such to benefit from the dividends of democracy and good governance. The youth and civil society as a critical stakeholder in the development process of any society has a duty to educate the public of the importance of protecting telecom infrastructure located in their immediate vicinity.”

He said the NCC and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) are collaborating to protect telecom infrastructure as a critical national asset and have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in that regard.

Professor Danbatta  therefore called on everyone to join hands together in protecting the national telecom infrastructure for the benefit of all.

The Deputy President, Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Musa Mohammed, said vandalising critically national infrastructure can only come from insensitivity, indiscipline and unpatriotic minded individuals.

Mohammed said these individuals do not see the good intentions of the government towards making necessary provisions for the country.

He urged all civil society organisations to put hands-on-deck to work with security agencies to ensure that the vandals were reported accordingly.

“Willful damage of roads, rail tracks and other critical infrastructure in our country is not only an act of wickedness but an act of disregard for the country’s infrastructure. We must all rise to fight against vandalism of national infrastructure because the damaging effects does not only affect an individual but all of us,” he explained.

The Director-General of National Council for Civil Society (NCCS), Mr. Johnny Emmanuel, said that the NCCS intends to train over 20,000 youth in each state to become volunteers, adding that they will access and monitor the state of vandalism across the country by working with security agencies.

He urged the government, especially the national assembly to put it into law by enacting a bill of National Infrastructure Protection Trust Fund.

“As law abiding citizens, it is our responsibility to telecom, power and other critical infrastructure within our environment and take ownership of it. If you partner with the civil society, we will be able to create what we call civil society anti-vandal volunteers. We intend to train over 20,000 youth in each state to become volunteers,” he said.

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