15 February 2013

Nigeria: Telcos Lose 6,000 Generators in One Year to Miscreants

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Thursday confirmed that telecoms operators lose between 16 and 17 generating sets on daily basis to miscreants.

The number of losses recorded every day as revealed by NCC, is equivalent to over 6,000 losses in one year.

The Director, Technical Standards and Networking Integrity at NCC, Dr. Ibrahim Sanni, gave the revelation at the 54th edition of the NCC organised monthly consumer parliament, which held on Thursday in Ikorodu, Lagos State.

According to him, "the miscreants most times come under the cover of darkness to various Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) to perpetuate crimes."

He said the activities of the faceless miscreants were impacting negatively on service quality, since the operators use the generating sets to power each BTS.

Telecoms operators who do not rely on Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) for electric power to run their BTS, fully relied on their generating sets, and each BTS has two generating sets, with one as standby.

"Based on the arrangement, telecoms operators usually have challenges of poor service quality as a result of the activities of the miscreants, which lead to service disruptions and downtime on various networks," Sanni said.

He added that the NCC, in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications Technology, has presented a bill to the National Assembly to consider telecoms facilities as critical national infrastructure.

The bill when passed into law will make it a criminal offence for anyone to destroy, or steal telecoms facilities.

Sanni listed other crimes committed by miscreants to include theft of diesel, theft of batteries, destruction of equipment at telecoms site, fibre cable cuts, and sometimes killing of security guards who put up some forms of resistance.

Sanni, who frowned at the activities of miscreants, said telecoms operators were licenced to serve Nigerians, and that Nigerians involved in the act, were only creating setback to the Nigerian economy. He called on Nigerians to guard against telecoms facilities and report any case of vandalism on telecoms facilities to security agents.

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