Vandalizing Telecom infrastructure in Nigeria will no longer be condoned, as it will hence be tagged as a punishable offense by the federal government
This piece of information was recently made known to the public by the Executive Vice-Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umaru Danbatta, who also disclosed plans to criminalize the offense. In addition, he informed that the agency will also create network access points in all Local Government Areas (LGAs) to cater for millions of Nigerians.
Prof Umaru, while speaking about Nigerians vandalism of telecom infrastructure, highlighted the fact that the particular case has been a recurrent one, and needs urgent intervention, hence the need to incorporate the new rule. In his explanation, the equipment in base transceiver stations — popularly called telephone masts — have hindered a lot of technological and economic development as a result of consistent vandalization by fellow Nigerians.
On this note, vandalization does not necessarily mean destroying the equipment alone, stealing and illegal connection are also some of the many possible ways of engaging in the vandalization.
As a matter of fact, this is not the first time the Agency is campaigning against public vandalization of Telecom Infrastructure. Back in 2016, the Agency organized a roadshow calling for Nigerians to stop damaging telecom infrastructure. Also, earlier this year, Amina Shehu, Director Zonal Operations at NCC also re-echoed the call, informing Nigerians about the importance of protecting the telecom infrastructure.
While all of these efforts seems to be insufficient, the Agency now claims to be working on a bill that will see the telecom infrastructure as critical national infrastructure, deserving national protection. This way, anyone caught in any form of mishandling activity will be called to justice for such an act.
According to our reliable source, Techpoint, taking legislative measures to criminalize vandalism will mean that NCC will be able to ensure that both new and existing facilities are protected to foster nationwide digital coverage.
Also, as an extension, NCC plans to create points of access in every LGA using fiber optic cables, to enable data transfer speeds of up to 10 GB/ps. This will in return help the tens of millions of Nigerians who do not have access to network coverage, especially in the rural areas.