By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Federal Government says it will declare telecom infrastructure in the country as critical national and security assets.
The Minister of Communications Technology, Barr. Adebayo Shittu, made the declaration on Tuesday, when members of Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, ALTON led by the Chairman, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo paid him a visit in Abuja.
Shittu, said that government considers telecom infrastructure in the country as critical to the survival of both citizens and government, and would not hesitate in considering the declaration of the infrastructure as critical national assets to enable operators provide unhindered services to the subscribers.
As a proactive step to tackle the issue, he said that an ad-hoc committee would be set up to X-Ray the challenges facing the industry with a view to finding enduring solutions.
‘‘The telecom infrastructure are critical that I feel we should have a committee made up of members of the association, ministry and NCC to look into the issues confronting the industry very closely and see which one to be taken to the Federal Executive Council , those to be addressed by National Assembly and the ones to be addressed by the committee itself.
Earlier in his address, the ALTON Chairman, presented a five point demands ranging from multiple taxation/closure of base stations without court orders; concerns on taxes and levies; proposed communications service tax bill of 2015; considering telecom service as critical national security and economic infrastructure and a bill to reduce unsolicited calls and messages to the minister and appealed for immediate intervention.