ATCON seeks increased awareness to curb vandalism of ICT infrastructure
ENGR. Ikechukwu Nnamani, first vice president, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has advocated for continuous education of government agencies across the various tiers of government on the cost implications of their actions on shutdown of telecom infrastructure in the country.
Nnamani who disclosed this in exclusive chat with Nigerian CommunicationsWeek in Lagos, noted that continuous pressure on critical telecom infrastructure by government agencies and vandals would have unbelievable negative impact on the provision of basic communication service in the country.He stated that the only way we can mitigate this hydra headed monster that is impeding growth in our telecom sector is to continuously sensitization and education of people on the negative impact of their actions.
According to him, “We’ve had cases where people don’t have access to basic communication service purely because somebody has gone to vandalized it and the sad part is, we can understand if an ignorant person who is looking for cheap money ignorantly goes to vandalize such a critical infrastructure but its more frustrating when the arms of government do the same thing just because they feel it’s the only way to swizz you to part with money they’ve demanded from you.
“The only way out of this, is to educate the right people so that once they understand the impact of their actions; they will desist from carrying out such actions.“For instance, you want to make one million naira from an operator then you commit an act that will lead to a loss of ten million, which will lead to huge negative economic impact on the economy.
Nnamani who is also Chief Executive Officer, Medallion Communications, added that conscious effort should be made to educate government agencies, especially at the state and local government level that vandalizing and disruption of critical telecom infrastructure because they want to squeeze an operator to part with money would have drastic effects on the economy.
He noted that stakeholders in the industry, under the umbrella of ATCON, ALTON and other organisations are collaborating together as one unit to tackle the problem.He however, commended NCC for the role they have played thus far in order to create awareness through various interventions with the federal executive council and Nigerian Governors forum.
He also blamed lack of continuity in government as one of the problems hobbling achievement made to curb these challenges in some states.“Lack of continuity in government is one of the problems frustrating achievements made to curb these challenges in some states.
“New government has just come in some of the states; unfortunately you will have to start all over again. It’s a continuous process, sometimes when you think you’ve made progress with a particular state or local government, there is a change and you have to start all over again.“That’s why in some states it’s like one step forward, two steps backwards, we’ve noticed that a lot of times” he said.
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