Over 50,000 cases of major destruction of telecom infrastructure and facilities have been reported across the country in the past five years, raising the alarm over the implication of these incidents to the quality of telecommunication services in Nigeria.
The executive vice-chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta who disclosed this at the 2022 edition of the Youth Civil Society and Stakeholders Summit (YCSSS), held at the Army Resource Centre, Abuja, expressed worry over the sustained destruction and how they have continued to affect the quality of experience (QoE) of consumers. He called for concerted efforts by the members of the public and security agencies to stem the tide.
Danbatta, who spoke through the head, corporate communication unit, NCC, Mrs. Nnena Ukoha said the negative impacts of incessant vandalism of telecom equipment, evidenced in fibre cuts, theft of telecom facilities like generators at sites, vandalism of base stations, among other vices, have become a major burden on the service providers, while telecom consumers have continued to suffer unwarranted disruptions of services.
“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.
In a statement by the commission’s head of public affairs, Reuben Muoka, Danbatta called for communities to be involved in protecting the critical infrastructure that makes these services possible, seeing as the ability to connect and communicate is fundamental to human existence, improvement in businesses processes, government services, education, as well as social and family networking through seamless connections.
“As a community, you are expected to report cases of vandalism of telecoms infrastructure to the nearest law enforcement agencies such as the Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and also share adequate information received from NCC with your family, friends and neighbours.
“We believe [that] 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 stated.