MTN decries ‘criminal vandalism’

By Lukas Ajanaku, Lagos, Nigeria

Nigeria’s leading telecommunications operator, MTN Nigeria, has decried the rising incidence of damage to its fibre-optic network, warning of its long-term negative impact on quality of service and national security.

The company’s Corporate Services Executive, Wale Goodluck, said in a statement in Lagos that MTN on average suffers more than 70 fibre cuts in various locations across the country every month.

Giving a breakdown, Goodluck said about 42% of the cuts are as a result of poor road construction practices, 25% are traceable to wilful damage perpetrated by criminal elements, while the remaining 33% are traceable to other causes, including sabotage.

“In the past, we have lost network availability in over 1000 base stations cumulatively across the network as a result of these cuts. This has affected services predominantly in the South East, particularly, Onitsha and Port Harcourt, and also other areas such as Kano, Abuja, Kaduna, and Ibadan, with customers experiencing complete loss of service in some of the locations, while others experienced severe difficulties in making and receiving calls in other locations,” said Goodluck.

According to Goodluck, relevant security agencies and the industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) are aware of the development and have been supportive of MTN as the company grapples with the challenge.

“We are now constrained to appeal to members of the public to further assist by reporting any suspicious activity around telecommunications installations, which are critical national infrastructure. By so doing, you will play your part in protecting your right to good services and the full benefits of the ICT revolution”, Goodluck said.

He reiterated that the company is committed to driving the socio-economic development of Nigeria through the provision of world standard telecommunications and ICT services.

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