Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has said telecom infrastructure remains critical to the conduct of the forthcoming 2023 general elections. The Prof. therefore called on Nigerians to join hands in protecting it for the benefit of the country.
Danbatta, who said this while speaking at the 6th edition of the annual conference of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) in Lagos State at the weekend, stated that with the planned transmission of election data and results riding on telecom infrastructure, there was need to ensure the fidelity of the transmission systems to enhance the credibility of such data.
“If telecom infrastructure is vandalised or damaged, it would create problem in the area of the data transmission during election; citizens will find it difficult to use their phones to seamlessly communicate and the journalists too might find it difficult in being able to access their web platforms to disseminate necessary information which members of the public require to make informed decisions at every point in time,” Danbatta was quoted as saying in a statement issued on Tuesday by the NCC spokesperson, Reuben Muoka.
Danbatta recalled that over the years the telecoms sector has continued to face destabilising situations arising from negative attitudes and actions of hostile communities, theft of diesel, batteries, and power generators from telecom base stations, among others.
While reiterating the importance of telecommunications in all aspects of human lives, including the forthcoming general election and other national activities and programmes, the NCC boss said without telecom infrastructure, it would be difficult to communicate with family and friends over long distance or conducting banking, insurance, or accessing government, and other social services, including education, entertainment, and other essentials services that enhance quality of life.
“This means that telecom infrastructure is important, and we must all ensure that we guard and protect those critical national infrastructural assets now, during the upcoming elections and thereafter. So, every citizen in Nigeria must take responsibility for the protection of telecom facilities for the benefits to all,” Danbatta said.
He, however, enjoined GOCOP members to use their media platforms and enviable experiences to collaborate with the NCC in creating greater awareness and public enlightenment on the need to protect telecoms infrastructure.