The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), at a sensitisation programme Thursday, at Wannabe, Tarka Local Government, Benue, emphasised that telecommunications consumers in Nigeria have a major role to play in complementing efforts to ensure effective protection of telecommunications infrastructure.
In a statement sent to Technext, and signed by Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, Director, Public Affairs, the NCC says the role of telecoms consumers is important to sustain and improve the quality of service delivery by the service providers.
According to the Commission, besides the role of the law enforcement agencies in protecting telecom infrastructure, the consumers, who are the subscribers and ultimate users of telecom services, have an obligation to ensure they protect telecoms infrastructure in their environment, including base transceiver stations (BTS), underground fibre optic cable, as well as associated infrastructure.
Addressing the audience at the programme, the Director, Zonal Operations, NCC, Amina Shehu, decried the problem of vandalism caused to telecom infrastructure which often results in poor quality of service delivery to the end-users.
One of the major challenges to the quality of service that operators provide to you, is the vandalism of telecom infrastructure, such as Base Transceiver Stations (BTS). Others are theft, and hostility from some host communities, which have continued to pose a major setback to the industry. Therefore, it is imperative for the public to regard telecom facilities as collectively-owned infrastructure that are crucial and essential for the provision of efficient and acceptable telecom services. The more reason these facilities need to be adequately protected.Amina Shehu
While imploring the indigenes of Tarka Local Government Area, Benue, to ensure they protect telecom facilities in their community, Shehu, who was represented by Assistant Director, Zonal Operations, NCC, Abubakar Usman, further enjoined consumers to always alert law enforcement agencies once they suspect an act of vandalism, theft or other suspicious activities directed at telecom infrastructure.
Shehu underscored the centrality of the telecommunications sector to the economy. She informed the audience that in the last 15 years, the telecoms industry has been a major contributor to the nation’s economic growth and development.
The Director, Zonal Operations, NCC, stated that the overall objective of the event is to sensitise members of the public on the need to protect telecommunication infrastructure, and to correct the misconception people have about the effect of radio magnetic waves on human health.
Shehu stressed that Electromagnetic Frequency (EMF) radiation emanating from telecommunications infrastructure is not harmful, according to studies conducted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Commission for Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).
So, the Commission is saying again to you that there is no scientific evidence yet that shows that radiation from telecom masts constitute health hazards to human and we want you to help spread this information to those that are not here.Amina Shehu
She said the Commission will continue to collaborate with relevant agencies and keep sensitising the consumers on their role in ensuring the security of telecom infrastructure.
During the event, participants were enlightened on the illegality of pre-registered Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards, the imperatives of proper SIM registration, the importance of National Identification Number, and the NIN-SIM linkage exercise.
The consumers were also informed about facilities provided by the Commission which they can employ to improve their telecom experience and quality of life. These include the NCC Toll-free Number (622); the 112 National Emergency Number; and the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) 2442 shortcake for managing cases of unsolicited text messages, amongst others.
The Paramount Ruler of Wannune, Chief Gandeorun Orokaa, who was at the event, thanked the Commission on behalf of the participants for bringing the sensitisation programme to the community to educate the consumers on sensitive consumer-related issues, as well as correcting wrong notions and clarifying misconceptions.
He also called on the indigenes to support the NCC in protecting telecoms infrastructure so as to ensure that the quality of service improves in the area.
Others in attendance were local government workers, village heads, community leaders, students, women leaders, and staff of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
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