The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has given the rationale for its directive to telecom companies to shut down base stations in Zamfara State, saying it is for security reasons.
A letter titled, ‘Re: Shutdown of All telecom Sites in Zamfara States’, personally signed by the commission’s executive vice chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said the shutdown which would last from September 3 to September 17 became necessary due to the insecurity in the state.
According to NCC, the decision is to enable relevant security agencies to carry out required activities towards addressing the security challenges in the state.
“The pervading security situation in Zamfara State has necessitated an immediate shut down of all telecom services in the state from today, September 3, 2021,” it said.
In line with this requirement, NCC directed the operators “to shut down all sites in Zamfara State and any site(s) in neighbouring states that could provide telecommunication service in Zamfara State. The site shutdown is for two weeks (September 03-17, 2021) in the first instance. Your urgent action in this regard is required,” the letter read.
Other states that might be affected by the directive include Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Kaduna, and Katsina.
Science Nigeria gathered that the Zamfara State government is fully in support of the directive to help in curbing security challenges, especially activity of bandits in the state.
Following the escalation of the security challenges and the new dimension which the operations of the bandits has assumed, it was learnt that the state government called on the Federal Government to urgently intervene and parts of the measures taken was to compel the NCC to order the telecommunication’s network providers to shutdown their services across Zamfara State.