By Angela Nkwocha
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has championed efforts to identify telecommunications infrastructure as Critical National Infrastructure, with a view to protecting them from vandalism and theft, amongst other things.
Especially now that COVID-19 pandemic, has led to a massive migration to digital platforms and has increased the level of importance of Critical National Infrastructure to the sustenance of our economy and the security of the nation.
A statement by spokesperson to the Minister of Communications & Digital Economy, Mrs Uwa Suleiman states that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved and also directed that necessary physical protective measures be emplaced to safeguard telecommunications infrastructure deployed across the country.
“The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Department of State Security Services (DSS) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), have been notified of Mr President’s directive. We are also working towards the reinforcement of these directives through appropriate regulatory instruments.
“Dr Pantami specially appreciates the security institutions, and commends the commitment they have demonstrated in securing these infrastructure.
“The implementation of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) and the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, both unveiled by Mr. President, have repositioned the ICT sector. This is evident by the recent ‘Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product Report’ released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) which showed that the ICT sector contributed an unprecedented 14.07% to the total real GDP in the first quarter of 2020”.
She averred that the Minister is truly grateful for the timely approval, and is confident that this will address the challenge of vandalism of our Critical National Infrastructure and will also go a long way in supporting the implementation of the National Broadband Plan (2020-2025).
Thus, the Federal Government strongly urges the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to ensure that they further reduce the price of data and calls for citizens to reciprocate the gesture, and to submit a comprehensive list of their facility locations all over the country.