Benjamin Babine, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the request of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economic, Dr Isa Ali Pantami, for the provision of security for telecommunications infrastructure nationwide.
Pantami, in a press release signed by his spokesperson, Mrs Uwa Suleiman, said that he has championed efforts to identify telecommunications infrastructure as Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) with a view to protecting them from vandalism and theft.
The statement reads:
‘The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to a massive migration to digital platforms and has increased the level of importance of Critical National Infrastructure to the sustenance of our economy and the security of the nation.
‘The Honourable Minister is delighted to inform stakeholders in the telecommunications industry that, His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has approved and also directed that necessary physical protective measures be emplaced to safeguard telecommunications infrastructure deployed across the country.
‘The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Department of State Security Services (DSS) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), have been notified of Mr President’s directive. We are also working towards the reinforcement of these directives through appropriate regulatory instruments. Dr Pantami especially appreciates the security institutions, and commends the commitment they have demonstrated in securing these infrastructures.”
The minister went on to express this gratitude to the President for his ‘timely approval’, saying that he is confident that this will address the challenge of vandalism of Critical National Infrastructure. He also said that this approval will go a long way in supporting the implementation of the National Broadband Plan (2020-2025).
Pantami urged Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to ensure that they further reduce the price of data and calls for citizens, saying that the directive was from the Federal Government.