Security agency to protect Nigeria's telecom installations

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has committed to intensify surveillance of telecommunications facilities, including base stations and installations.

Industry stakeholders have continued to appeal to the government to confer national infrastructure status on telecoms installations in a bid to combat vandalism.

In December 2016 National Security Adviser Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno hosted a meeting to deliberate on ways to protect critical national infrastructure.

More recently the Acting Deputy Commandant-General (Protection of Critical Infrastructure), Amos Andekein, made the pledge on behalf of the NSCDC while on a courtesy visit to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

"The protection of these structures were part of the NSCDC's core mandate as enshrined in the NSCDC Act. We are willing to do just that for the telecommunications sector like we have been doing for the oil and gas sector, oil pipelines and maritime operations," said Andekein.

NCC's Head, Legal and Regulatory Services Yetunde Akinloye said laws were being fine-tuned to successfully prosecute defaulters.

"A private member bill was in the offing, which when passed, would make prosecution a lot easier," she said.

Security has been identified as a challenge to the growth of Nigeria's telecoms industry.

Telecoms operators have stressed that their inability to provide improved services is linked to vandalism of installations.

They claim the lack of security is also to blame for many of the complaints voiced by subscribers including dropped calls, higher calls terminations and undelivered text messages.