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MTN urges infrastructure protection

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

MTN wants status of critical national infrastructure conferred on ICT infrastructure.

Amid sporadic attacks on telecoms infrastructure by Nigeria's notorious blood-letting Islamic movement, Boko Haram, MTN Nigeria has called on the federal government once again to classify telecoms infrastructure into the category of critical national infrastructure like that of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and others.

Even in as the sustained damage remains, the firm has restated its commitment to providing its customers with good quality of service.

Speaking on the issue, Akinwale Goodluck, MTN’s Corporate Service Executive announced that in the last few weeks, MTN and other major telecommunication companies had suffered deliberate damage to infrastructure in parts of Northern Nigeria.

He stated that MTN had also experienced multiple cuts to its fibre cable in the same region, which has impacted service in the Eastern part of the country.

He drew attention to the fact that current security concerns have prevented not only repair work to damaged equipment, but routine maintenance, causing disruption to the lives of millions of Nigerians.

"Fibre links the different parts of the country to form one cohesive network for business and personal communication. When fibre is damaged, parts of the country are excised and reliant businesses are left high and dry."

Goodluck explained how ICT has become the backbone for many aspects of life and business and that the continued damage to it could have an effect on socio-economic life in Nigeria.

He said: "The underpinning of telecommunications is Information Communication Technology (ICT). As such the impact of these incidents, if they continue unabated, does not only affect common telecommunication services like making calls and sending text, which itself has consequences for individual wellbeing, but also negatively impacts businesses that rely on telecom. Loss of fibre hampers businesses that depend on ICT to conduct its affairs.”

Calling on the federal government to urgently confer critical status on ICT and telecommunications infrastructure, he said: "Any improper or illegal interference or damage to ICT infrastructure by unauthorised third parties is an unfortunate development."

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