A release, from the office of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, through the spokesperson of the Minister, Uwa Suleiman, stated on Tuesday that the Minister has succeeded in securing a Directive from President Muhammadu Buhari, approving the provision of security, for telecommunications infrastructure, nationwide.
The Statement revealed that, the office of the National Security Adviser, Defence Headquarters, Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Security Services and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, have been notified of the president’s directive.
The security of telecom infrastructure in Nigeria, had been an issue, within the Nigerian telecom sector for a long time now, with the National Assembly, yet to pass the Critical National Infrastructure bill into law.
It will be recalled that, vandalism and theft of telecom infrastructure had always, been adversely affecting quality delivery by the telcos, with unending complaints from telecom consumers.
The statement, also, stated that, the Minister, had championed efforts, to identify telecommunications infrastructure, as critical national infrastructure, with a view to protecting them, from vandalism and theft, among other hazards.
It was, also, noted in the release that, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, has led to a massive migration to digital platforms and has increased the level of importance of critical national infrastructure, to the sustenance of the economy and the security of the nation.
“We are also working towards the reinforcement of these directives, through appropriate regulatory instruments. Dr. Pantami, specially, appreciates the security institutions and commends the commitment they have demonstrated, in securing these infrastructure”, the statement stressed.
This, however, fell short of the expectations that, the Minister will secure an Executive Order from the President, for securing telecom infrastructure.
It would be recalled that the telcos, ALTO, ATCON, as well as, other stakeholders in the telecom sector, including the former Minister of Communications Technology, Omobola Johnson, have been calling for, either the passage of the Critical National Infrastructure bill into law.
Which will encompass telecom sectors infrastructure, while taking care of critical assets in other sectors too, or securing an Executive Order from the President, to secure telecom infrastructure.
The security agencies have been working in cooperation, with the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, the telcos and other stakeholders in the telecom sector, in securing telecom infrastructure, before now.
An example of this cooperation is the signing of an agreement with the NCC on protecting telecom infrastructure, in 2017, as shown here.
A law, or an Executive Order, to back these efforts up is, however, required at this time, for providing the effective and efficient security of infrastructure that, the telecom sector deserves.
This will help in providing better quality services to existing and new telecom service users that have joined, since the coronavirus pandemic started.
Featured Image: independent.ng
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