By Prince Osuagwu
Nigeriaâ€™s telecommunications chief regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, andÂ Nigerian ICT professionals and professionalorganisations, yesterday, reacted to the threat by Nigeriaâ€™s Second National Operator, Globacom, to withdraw its operations from Ghana over allegations of sabotage.
Globacom had threatened to pull out of Ghana over allegations that it has suffered repeated and organised sabotage of its billboards and the delay in securing approval for the swift deployment of its infrastructure such as base stations.
NCC’s Media and Public Relations Manager, Mr. Reuben Muoka, toldÂ Vanguard on phone that â€œNCC would not jump into conclusions, nether would we rush into undue commentary at this stage. But we will sure do thorough investigations to find out the real issues because if the allegations are true it is capable of undermining the essence of West African Telecommunications Regulatory Agency which was put in place to foster friendly interaction and collaboration between the regulatory agencies in the West African region and operations under them.â€
Also, the President of the Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria, ATCON,Â Titi Omo-Ettu, said the issue was beyond Globacom if every detail was investigated and found to be true.
According to him, â€œI have read the story in the Vanguard and I can tell you that I was touched. While the issue needs to be investigated, it is beyond Globacom if the allegations are true. I know that Globacom has been complaining in silence before now.”
‘In his reaction, the Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria, ALTON, Gbenga Adebayo, called on NCC to launch a quick investigation into the matter and possibly report it to WATRA which would mediate accordingly.
â€œI donâ€™t have details of the true position now, but from the newspaper account, this is a matter NCC should properly represent Globacom and report to WATRA.”
Meanwhile, former President of ATCON, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, has advised that caution should be taken when pursuing the issue.
For him, â€œ Nigeria and Ghana are very close neighbours. When the late President Yarâ€™Adua died, I could remember that the Ghanaian government announced a three- day mourning period and after that the president of Ghana also visited President Jonathan to commiserate with him. What all that show is that we are good neighbours. I urge Globacom to lawfully and officially report allegations to appriopriate authorities in Ghana before pulling out. It should also brief authorities in Nigeria like NCC and other bodies like ATCON and ALTON among others. If every measure is taken and things donâ€™t get improved we can then think of extreme measuresâ€
However, Vanguard from Nigerian sources who have investments in Ghana that defacing or pulling down Glo bill boards and the likes may not be unconnected from the desire of Ghanaian government to replicate the Lagos state governmentâ€™s efforts at instituting LASAA, an agency that ensure tidy positions of bill boards on the streets.
The source told Vanguard that Ghanaian government has earlier sent its officials to come to Lagos to understudy the achievements of LASAA in Lagos Nigeria.