Buhari Approves provision of security for telecommunications infrastructure nationwide
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved and also directed that necessary physical protective measures be put in placed to safeguard telecommunications infrastructure deployed across the country.
Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Mallam Isa Ali Pantami who disclosed this in statement signed by his spokesperson, Mrs Uwa Suleiman yesterday in Abuja, noted that 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.
He noted that the ministry is working towards the reinforcement of these directives through appropriate regulatory instruments.
Pantami observed that the Nigerian telecommunications industry, depends on a number of infrastructure that play a critical role in the smooth delivery of telecoms services adding that these are part of Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) because of the important role they play, in ensuring security and in the delivery of other essential services.
According to him, 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.
He noted that the ministry under his leadership has championed efforts to identify telecommunications infrastructure as Critical National Infrastructure, with a view to protecting them from vandalization and theft, amongst other things.
The minster observed that the implementation of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) and the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, both unveiled by Mr President, have repositioned the ICT sector as shown by the recent ‘Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product Report’ released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) which showed that the ICT sector contributed an unprecedented 14.07% to the total real GDP in the first quarter of 2020.
He commended the President for the timely approval stressing that this will address the challenge of vandalism of our Critical National Infrastructure and also go a long way in supporting the implementation of the National Broadband Plan (2020-2025).
The minister urged the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to ensure that they further reduce the price of data and calls for citizens. This is to reciprocate this gesture, and to submit a comprehensive list of their facility locations all over the country.
Pantami commended the security agencies for their commitment in securing these infrastructure.