Group seeks standard regulations around telecommunication facilities

Telecommunication mast

At a time when security challenge is threatening the stability of the country, the National Fire Prevention Awareness and Advocacy (NFPWA), has advised government to tighten the noose around telecommunications facilities by way of standard and regulations.

The body wants the regulatory organs to task themselves with periodic audit assessment of communication facilities and environment to ensure that service providers exercise nothing   below established standards and benchmark in the protection of mission critical facilities such as data and communications centres.

Protecting Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and telecoms infrastructure guarantees efficient and reliable services to the end users. The sector is faced with increase in vandalism and theft, with operators losing as many as 10,000 generating sets to vandals in 2016.

The Group’s Head of Corporate Service, Mrs. Uche Dike, in an interview, said it recognises the imperative to be extra cautious with network facilities this period to avoid attack whether internal or external that is capable of subjecting the national security to danger.

Dike, who informed that the group had concluded arrangements to deal extensively with safety and caution within and around telecommunications facilities in its forthcoming conference billed to hold on May 5th, in Lagos, conceded that as much as the emergence and growing trends in ICT has boosted Nigeria’s awareness level, safety in the sector was keen to avert disruption that could jeopardise individual lives and the sovereignty of a nation.

Already, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has called on Nigerians to protect telecoms infrastructure, stressing that “we need to be more vigilant. We need to report any form of vandalism to security agencies. In the existing laws of this country, vandalism of telecommunications infrastructure carries heavy penalties including a jail term if found culpable. In addition, the Commission is currently consulting with our law makers to finalise on a Bill called Critical Infrastructure Protection Bill which seeks to treat all telecom infrastructure as public property, to be protected as such.”

Besides vandalism slowing down the pace of growth and contributing to poor Quality of Service (QoS), the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said there are vices arising from this including cutting of cables, destruction of base stations, stealing of generators and general pilfering of telecommunications equipment in some host communities.

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