The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has described indiscriminate shutting down of base stations by states and local government authorities as violation of the country’s cybercrime law.
ATCON President, Mr Olusola Teniola, who made this declaration during a courtesy visit to a former President of the association, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, who is now the Secretary to the Akwa-Ibom State Government, however, lamented that the act had continued because nobody is implementing or enforcing the law.
According to him, the cybercrime law treats telecoms infrastructure as a critical national infrastructure in Nigeria but because it is not being implemented, states and local governments are still shutting down base stations without any prior notice to service provider and this usually accounts for poor quality of telecoms service.
Eulogising the Akwa-Ibom SSG, whom he said had been part and parcel of supporting the creation of an enabling environment for the continuous and profitable existence of telecom companies in Nigeria, Teniola noted that Ekuwem’s appointment was based on his extraordinary pedigree as a thorough bred technocrat, professional and a promoter of human relations with sterling leadership quality.
“We are of the opinion that your recent appointment as the Secretary to State Government is a pointer to the fact that while you were the President of ATCON you did perform very well and that was the singular reason that the governor is surrounding himself with people who have track records of performance,” he said.
Responding, Ekuwem said immediately he was sworn in as the new SSG to the governor of Akwa Ibom, he invited all the telecom companies to find out their challenges but to his surprise those telecom companies in the state said the state had been very cooperative and there was no incidence of multiple taxation and no harassment from the state.
He further stated that the Government of Akwa Ibom recognised the importance of broadband as 10 per cent broadband penetration is equivalent to 1.3 per cent increase in GDP and apart from this, it also enhances productivity.
Ekuwem added that the state had always encouraged telecom companies operating in Akwa Ibom to maintain a higher level of maintenance culture so as to prevent the incidence of mast collapse and malfunctioning of base station in the state.
He said the state also planned to connect all the local governments in the state through broadband and that IPTVs are being installed in all government offices to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in the state.
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