The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has again enjoined telecoms consumers and other stakeholders to join hands with it in protecting telecom infrastructure for improved service delivery to them.
The Commission made the call during a sensitisation programme on the protection of telecoms infrastructure in Okene, Kogi State, at the weekend, urging all stakeholders, including traditional rulers, and individuals to collectively protect telecoms infrastructure in their communities.
While addressing an audience of telecoms consumers at the event, the Director, Zonal Operations, NCC, Mrs. Amina Shehu, said concerted efforts by all stakeholders were needed to protect telecoms infrastructure. Shehu, who was represented by a Principal Manager in the Zonal Operations Directorate, Ekisola Oladisun, said if the Quality of Service (QoS), and Quality of Experience (QoE), enjoyed are to be improved upon, then consumers need to join hands in protecting telecoms infrastructure such as base transceiver stations (BTS), and fibre optic cables located in their vicinities.
Noting that Nigeria has, over the years, recorded tremendous growth in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP), following the liberalisation of the telecoms industry in 2001, Shehu, however, decried the various challenges facing optimum protection for telecoms infrastructure, which, in turn, hinder delivery of improved services to consumers by the mobile networks.
She listed the challenges to include vandalism, theft of telecoms site equipment, and harassment and intimidation of telecoms site engineers, indiscriminate shutdown of telecoms facilities by government agencies, and right of way (RoW) issues among others. Shehu said, "It is important to note that the spate of vandalism of telecoms infrastructure across the country has resulted in cases of poor quality of service which telecoms consumers complain about."
She added that it was on the basis of these realities that the Commission organised the workshop, to educate consumers on the imperative of protecting telecoms infrastructure, which has become the backbone for the entire economy. She added: "we need to collectively protect telecoms infrastructure in our communities to prevent decline in quality of service on the networks of our service providers."
Similarly, an official in the Technical Standards and Network Integrity (TSNI) Directorate, NCC, Musa Daibu, said the Commission and other stakeholders were pushing for the passing into law of a bill on Critical National Infrastructure, which, if passed, will help to further improve telecoms infrastructure protection, as it will classify telecoms infrastructure as national assets.The forum provided an opportunity for consumers to ask questions on various aspects of telecom service delivery, while the Commission's officials provided appropriate responses to issues raised.