Vanguard (Lagos)

8 August 2012

Nigeria: NATCOMS Calls for Speedy Revival of Rural Telephony Service

Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo, President, Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS), on Tuesday called for the speedy revival of the rural telephony project in the country.

Ogunbanjo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the call became necessary to address the dire need for telecommunications services in un-serviced and under-served communities.

He said that the revival of the service would bridge the telecommunications divide between rural and urban settlements.

NAN reports that the Federal Government had last year announced the suspension of the National Rural Telephony Project (NRTP) which was started in 2001, due to the poor execution.

The first phase of the project was to cover 218 local government areas and also provide over 636,256 Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) lines in all the council areas.

The NATCOMS president said that inadequate basic telecommunications penetration in the rural areas was adversely affecting the quality of life of the rural population.

"The Nigerian Communications Commission should bring competent telecommunications operators that could operate the service to penetrate telecommunications service to the rural areas.

"I believe with this, the rural telephony service will become alive again," he said.

Ogunbanjo advised the Federal Government to collaborate with the telecoms operators to deploy the latest telecommunications technology to serve the un-served areas in the country.

NAN

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