Nigeria’s president approves security for telecoms infrastructure nationwide
5 June 2020
On Tuesday June 2, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari approved the provision of security measures in safeguarding telecommunications infrastructure across the country.
The statement was disclosed by the minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Mallam Isa Ali Pantami, stating 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 the President’s directive and are working towards the reinforcement of these directives.
The telecommunications industry in Nigeria depends on a number of infrastructure, which play a critical role in the smooth delivery of telecoms services. Due to the role they play, it is important that operations and delivery of other essential services are secured.
According to Mr Pantami, it is important to identify telecommunications infrastructure as critical national infrastructure, with a view to protecting it from vandalism and theft, amongst other hazards.
He went further to say 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 our economy and the security of the nation.
Pantami noted that the ministry under his leadership has made efforts to identify telecommunications infrastructure as a Critical National Infrastructure, with the aim of protecting them from any damage.
Vandalism of telecommunications infrastructure and inadequate spectrum, have been described as the greatest challenge facing Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in Nigeria
Based on the ‘Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product Report’ released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the ICT sector contributed an unprecedented 14.07 percent to the total real GDP in the first quarter of 2020.
This prompted the President to implement the National Broadband Plan (NBP) and the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, both aimed at safeguarding the ICT sector.
With this new policy, the challenge of vandalism of national infrastructures in the telecoms industry would be addressed and telecoms can now operate and achieve maximum results without fear.
In conclusion, the minister urged the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to ensure that they further reduce the price of data and calls for citizens and to submit a comprehensive list of their facility locations all over the country.