By Angeleen Nkwocha
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has enjoined telecoms consumers and other stakeholders to join hands with the commission towards protecting telecom infrastructure for improved service delivery to them.
The Commission made the call during a sensitisation programme on the protection of telecoms infrastructure in Okene, Kogi State recently.
NCC urged all stakeholders, including traditional rulers, and individuals to collectively protect telecoms infrastructure in their communities.
While addressing an audience of telecoms consumers at the event, the Director Zonal Operations, NCC, Mrs. Amina Shehu, said concerted efforts of all stakeholders were needed to protect telecoms infrastructure.
Shehu, who was represented by a Principal Manager in the Zonal Operations Directorate, Mr. Ekisola Oladisun, said that if the quality of service (QoS) and quality of experience (QoE) enjoyed by the consumers are to be improved upon, the consumers need to play a role by joining hands in protecting telecoms infrastructure such as base transceiver stations (BTS) and fibre optic cables located in their vicinities.
While noting that Nigeria has, over the years, recorded tremendous growth in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) following the liberalisation of the telecoms industry in 2001, Shehu, however, lamented that there are various changes facing optimum protection for telecoms infrastructure, which, in turn, hinder delivery highly improved services to the consumers by the mobile networks.
The challenges, according to her, include vandalism, theft of telecoms site equipment’s and harassment and intimidation of telecoms site engineers, indiscriminate shutdown of telecoms facilities by government agencies, right of way (RoW) issues among others.
According to Shehu, “It is important to note that the spate of vandalism of telecoms infrastructure across the country has resulted in cases of poor quality of service which telecoms consumers complain about.”
She added that it was on the basis of these realities, that the Commission has organised the workshop in order to educate consumers on the imperative of protecting telecoms infrastructure, which has become the backbone for the entire economy, stressing that “we need to collectively protect telecoms infrastructure in our communities to prevent decline in quality of service on the networks of our service providers.”
Speaking in the same vein, an official in the Technical Standards and Network Integrity (TSNI) Directorate, NCC, Mr. Musa Daibu, said the Commission and other stakeholders were pushing for the passing into law of a bill on Critical National Infrastructure, which, if passed into law, will help to further improve telecoms infrastructure protection, as it will classify telecoms infrastructure as national assets.