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Monday, November 25, 2019

Telecom infrastructure: Pantami writes state governors over lack of protection - ITREALMS

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) has written to some states’ governors over lack of protection for Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) and specifically, the telecommunication infrastructure, saying it retards development in the domain, reports ITREALMS.

Confirming this to 
ITREALMS, the minister’s spokesperson, Uwa Suleiman said he had in an earlier intervention to bring this challenge to a permanent end, “written to all affected state chief executives in this regard, urging them to ensure that all agencies and residents, within their respective domains desist from these despicable acts.”

According to Pantami, in an era where development is tech-driven and the Federal Government is making concerted efforts to digitalise the economy, the actions of these unscrupulous elements strive to undermine the President’s Digital Economy Agenda and indeed, the overall development of the country.

“This wanton destruction and total disregard for CNI, must be stopped forthwith,” he declared.

Stressing that the Federal Government is doing all it could to ensure the security of the lives and properties of its citizens and will not condone any acts, that will jeopardise its efforts.

“All governors whose states are affected by this scourge, are respectfully reminded and encouraged, to immediately deploy strategies that will bring an end to it.

As Chief Security Officers (CSOs) of their various states, they are to ensure the immediate implementation of, and compliance with this directive and anyone who persists with this criminal act brought to book in accordance with the law,” Pantami was quoted as saying.

In a related development, Pantami has expressed concern about the obstruction and hinderance to the activities of MNOs, by some men of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), thereby constituting a challenge to telecommunications services delivery.

Numerous complaints reaching the Minister’s office, she said, alleged that men of the service, especially around border towns where BTS are located, deny passage to petrol tank drivers, thereby denying them access to refuel generators supplying power to these base stations. The effects of these acts are a threat to national security and economic growth and cannot be ignored.

The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, while applauding the revived efforts of the NCS in tackling the activities of smugglers, however, urges the service to direct its officers deployed to these locations, to identify and grant concession to genuine drivers carrying petroleum supplies to remote locations and are a critical link in the chain. The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of President Muhammadu Buhari, is centred around a Digital Economy and the telecoms sector, occupies a central position in the scheme of things. It is of utmost importance that public institutions collaborate and form partnerships that will ensure the security and prosperity of all Nigerians.

The Federal Government assures stakeholders, operators and indeed all law abiding citizens, of its commitment to providing a safe business environment for investments to thrive.

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor

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