UMAR Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has disclosed that over 50,000 cases of major destruction to telecommunications infrastructure and facilities have been reported across the country in the past five years.
Danbatta, who disclosed this at the 2022 edition of Youth Civil Society and Stakeholders Summit (YCSSS), which took at the Army Resource Centre in Abuja, expressed concern that vandalisation has continued to affect consumers’ Quality of Experience (QoE) on telecoms services, and called for concerted efforts by members of the public and security agencies to stem the tide.
He noted that vandalism has affected quality of calls and other telecommunication services across the country.
Speaking through the Head, Corporate Communications Unit of the Commission, Nnena Ukoha, the NCC boss said the negative impact of incessant vandalisation of telecom equipment evidenced in fibre cuts, theft of telecom facilities like generators at sites, and destruction of base stations, among others, have become a major burden on the service providers.
He added that telecom consumers have continued to suffer unwarranted disruptions as a result of the development.
“The impact of vandalism of infrastructure is felt by all in the quality of services rendered, as it results in increasing drop calls, data and Internet connectivity disruptions, aborted and undelivered short messaging services (SMS), as well as countless failed calls”, he said.
The NCC Chief Executive Officer added that, considering the fact that the ability to connect and communicate is fundamental to human existence, and improvement in business processes, government services, education as well as social and family networking through seamless connections, every community should get involved in protecting the critical infrastructure that makes these services possible.
“Therefore, as a community, you are expected to report cases of vandalism of telecoms infrastructure to the nearest law enforcement agencies such as the Police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, and also share adequate information received from NCC with your family, friends, and neighbours.
“We believe, with your cooperation as critical stakeholders in the telecoms sector, we can all work with the law enforcement authorities in protecting telecom infrastructure in your community,” Danbatta said while emphasising the role of communities in protecting critical national assets.
Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.