By Emeka Aginam
Effort to protect telecommunication infrastructure across the nation will soon start yielding the expected result as the regulatory authority, the Nigerian Communications Commission has disclosed that the Commission was consulting with law makers to finalize a bill on critical infrastructure protection.
The Excutive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umaru Garba Danbatta who disclosed this in Lagos recently during a road show campaign against vandalization of telecom infrastructure in Nigeria noted the bill seeks to treat all telecom infrastructure as public property.
The roadshow, he noted provided another opportunity to urge the national legislature to give an urgent consideration In passing the bill into law in order to give more legal teeth in the prosecution of offenders and enable the Commission protect telecom infrastructure for the benefit of the Nigerian citizens.
According to him, the benefits and the useful services the country is currently enjoying now were threatened by the spate of vandalization of telecom infrastructure across the country.
“We are worried that vandalization of telecom infrastructure is slowing the pace of growth, contributing to poor quality of services
“Vandalization of infrastructure comes in several ways. Some vandals cut or destroy cables that provide services across geographical distances or communities. Some engage in stealing of generators or diesels which are used to power base stations that make services available at all times. “We have situations where local communities or individuals bar technical staff of the service providers from installing equipment or carrying out repair on existing systems. We have situations where people engage in wilful destruction or damage of telecom infrastructure in order to extort money from service providers.
“The industry has continued to lose huge sums of money as a result of vandalization of telecom infrastructure and more importantly, the nation has lost a lot of services as a result of this menace”, he noted.