From Linus Oota, Lafia
Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has opened a partnership arrangement with law enforcement agencies in the country to step up regulatory activities of the industry to outright protection of telecom installations, facilities and infrastructure.
Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the commission, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, stated this in Keffi, Nasarawa State, during a workshop on sensitisation of law enforcement agencies for the North Central Zone on telecommunication issues organised by the Commission on some key challenging issues in the sector in Nigeria. He said the coming of mobile telecom in Nigeria with its phenomenal growth and contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has come with proliferation of cyber crimes, theft and vandalism of telecom equipment.
According to the NCC boss, “the growth witnessed in the telecommunications sector in the last 15 years has been phenomenal by all standards. From less than half a million lines on the eve of our democratic revival, today, active connected telephones lines are about 150 million. This has come with a concomitant increase in teledensity,” he said.
Danbatta who was represented by the Head, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Unit of the commission, Mr. Efosa Idehen, said the task before the Commission was to form a coalition of forces in a renewed strategic partnership with all players in the security sector to contain every form of criminal assault on telecommunications operations in Nigeria. “We have witnessed a very painful rise in tempo of outright theft of telecommunication equipment as well as vandalism of telecommunication installations, facilities and infrastructure.”
We have also seen proliferation in the sale and usage of pre-registered subscribers identification module (SIM) cards, all of which constitute infractions of the NCC Act 2003, and other extant regulations governing the telecommunication sector,” he said.
He said the commission has commenced the process for the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between it and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), adding that same process shall apply to other security agencies as the need may arise.