By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Monsur Olowopejo
LAGOS â€” GovernorÂ Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has expressed worry over the low quality materials used by communication operators in erecting telecommunication masts across the state which he described as dangerous to the society.
Apparently worried over the new trend of increasing threat to safety and security of innocent citizens through anonymous text messages and phone calls, Fashola also challenged telecommunication network operators in the country to evolve technical means through data base that would detect and trace phony and anonymous calls by mischievous characters.
The governor made the remarks yesterday when Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Etisalat, one of the network operators, Mr. Stevens Evans, led the management team of the company on a courtesy visit to his Alausa, Ikeja office.
According to him, it was discovered that some of the materials used in erecting some of the communication masts that dotted various parts of the metropolis were substandard.
Speaking on the indiscriminate erection of telecom masts, he said sometime, it clearly posed a threat to the residents, adding: â€œThis needed to be checked as it smacks of irresponsibility on the part of the networks to destroy public infrastructure built with millions of tax payers money for the good of all.â€
He particularly lamented the lack of understanding by some private telecom operators (PTOs) which he said connived to take the state government to court against the good intention of his administration to check the trend.
â€œThere is serious safety and economic benefits in this which the operators failed to realise. We are still working on this and do hope that we will get a favourable position from the court to check this,â€ he said.
Fashola said the GSM network had become a ready tool in the hands of criminally minded persons to harass and threaten others which must not be allowed to continue.
To check this disturbing trend, he said the network operators owed to Nigerians and indeed the entire society in which they operate the responsibility of devising a means by which every SIM issued carries with it the necessary data of the subscriber which could be traced in the event that such SIM is used to make anonymous calls threatening the life of an innocent person.
Earlier in his speech, Mr. Evans acknowledged Fasholaâ€™s achievements in the last two years and pledged to key into the administrationâ€™s development programmes.