The Nigerian telecommunications industry’s request for special security and critical national infrastructure status for telecoms infrastructure across the country has been granted by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, said this on Tuesday through a statement issued on his behalf by his media aide, Uwa Suleiman.
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Daily Trust reports that telecoms operators had repeatedly cried out over wanton damage and theft to their equipment and infrastructure, a development, they said, has inhibited smooth delivery of telecoms services.
But the minister said with the new designation by the president, telecoms infrastructures now enjoy critical national infrastructure status and damage to it now attracts grave punishments.
“I am delighted to inform stakeholders in the telecommunications industry that His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, has approved and also directed that necessary physical protective measures be emplaced to safeguard telecommunications infrastructure deployed across the country”, the minister said.
He revealed that the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Department of State Security Services (DSS) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), have been notified of Mr President’s directive.
“We are also working towards the reinforcement of these directives through appropriate regulatory instruments”, Pantami added.
‘Reduce data, calls’ prices’
Pantami said the Federal Government’s gesture would also go a long way in supporting the implementation of the National Broadband Plan (2020-2025).
He urged the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to ensure that they further reduce the price of data and calls for citizens.
“This is to reciprocate this gesture, and to submit a comprehensive list of their facility locations all over the country”, he said.