Home Big Story Nigeria tightens security over telecoms infrastructure amid Coronavirus spread

Nigeria tightens security over telecoms infrastructure amid Coronavirus spread

Nigeria tightens security over telecoms infrastructure amid Coronavirus spread
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The Federal Government directed security agencies to protect Nigeria’s telecoms infrastructure as the nation faces moves to contain the spread of the deadly Coronavirus.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says it is in contact with law enforcement agencies to constantly protect telecoms infrastructure across the country, Henry Nkemadu, Director, Public Affairs of the telecoms regulatory agency says in a statement made available to Technology Times.

Nigeria, home to 186,023,609 active phone connections and 128,723,188 Internet users, is looking to a resilient telecoms infrastructure as the government is asking citizens to stay at home to curtail the spread of the deadly virus.

Nigeria, home to 186,023,609 active phone connections and 128,723,188 users, is looking to a resilient telecoms infrastructure as the government is asking citizens to stay at home to curtail the spread of the deadly virus.

Mobile market….Technology Times file photo shows a phone shop at Ikeja Computer Village in Lagos
Mobile market….Technology Times file photo shows a phone shop at Ikeja Computer Village in Lagos

“The NCC supports Right of Passage (RoP) for all telecommunications members for easy movement in the event of a total lockdown and or restriction of movement”, Nkemadu says underscoring the regulator’s plans to keep the nation’s telecoms networks running amid the crisis.

According to the NCC spokesman, “the regulator is also in support of RoP for suppliers that are involved in supplies of fuels, foods and other support services to telecom operators, to allow for free movement in the event of partial or total lockdown as a result of the coronavirus.”

Under the plan, the telecoms regulator has “also approved resource sharing by operators throughout the period of coronavirus. These include fibre optics cables and other resources in the event of cable cuts and other unforeseen developments during the period of coronavirus outbreak.”

Dr. Henry Nkemadu, a Veterinary Medicine graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, has become the Director of Public Affairs at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the nation's telecoms regulatory agency.
Dr. Henry Nkemadu, Director of Public Affairs at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

NCC says it has cancelled all social visits with visitors advised to use relevant online platforms and or telephone services in accessing the regulator’s services. 

“For those who may be affected, the Commission implores them to take advantage of the Emergency Communications Centres (ECCs) by dialing the toll-free number 112”, Nkemadu says.

“The Commission, in conjunction with industry players and all other government agencies, has agreed to reduce the frequency of physical meetings all through the period of the coronavirus outbreak and considered alternative electronic meeting platforms, in order to reduce person-to-person contact that may arise from travels or meetings”, he adds.

To address this, “Departments within the Commission that interface with customers have developed e-platforms where all licensing requests, consumer complaints and base transceiver station (BTS) investigation requests could be channeled or provide designated e-mail addresses to be used for such requests throughout the pandemic period.”

NCC says it has directed Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) “to ensure that their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes are in tandem with government initiatives to curtail the COVID-19 pandemic in order to provide safety and support aid materials that will protect the public against coronavirus.”

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