Olubadan of ibadanland,Oba Lekan Balogun has thrown his weight behind the clamour for telecom infrastructure protection across the country by the Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC).
The initiative received the royal blessings at the Village Square Dialogue(VSD) of NCC held at Mapo Hall.
The monarch, who spoke through the Ayingun Olubadan of Ibadanland, Chief Ademola Odunade, advised the Nigerian public “to support NCC to achieve its objectives of protecting telecoms consumer because this should be seen as a collective responsibility.”
The event, which was presided over by the Chairman of the Board of the NCC, Prof. Adeolu Akande, was designed to discuss one of the most important issues affecting the operations of the telecom industry – the protection of telecoms infrastructure to guarantee improved quality of service for benefits of businesses and the consumers.
Akande, in his address to guests at the forum that witnessed large turnout of traditional rulers, representatives of telecom operators and consumers, asked the consumers and other stakeholders to join hands in protecting telecoms infrastructure in their communities to ensure sustained connectivity.
Akande said the objective of the consumer engagement was “to explore how we can all protect telecom infrastructure to continue to provide us with life-supporting services and we are happy to bring this programme to Oyo State to really sensitise telecom consumers and other critical stakeholders in this regard.”
Prof. Akande noted that without telecom infrastructure, it will be difficult to communicate with family and friends over long distances while conducting banking, insurance, or access government services, education, entertainment and other essentials of life.
“This means that telecom infrastructure is important, and we must all ensure that we guard and protect this Critical National Infrastructure,” Akande said.
He also listed such destabilising situations in the telecom sector to include the negative attitudes and actions of hostile communities; theft of diesel, batteries and power generators from base stations; digging up and cutting of fibre optic cables; sealing/locking up of Base Transceiver Station (BTS) sites and other disruptive activities which must be tackled decisively.
Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau of NCC, Efosa Idehen, who commended the consumers from the Ibadan axis for turning out in numbers, pledged the Commission’s commitment towards the care of the consumers. Idehen stated that NCC has the responsibility to protect, inform and educate the million of telecom consumers in the country.
“Therefore, part of activities to deliver on this mandate is this type of programme holding in Ibadan today. We value your feedback on all kinds of services you receive in the telecoms sector but most importantly, we implore you to join hands in protecting telecom infrastructure in your areas,” he said.
Idehen advised members of the public to report any suspected cases of threats to telecoms infrastructure to law enforcement agents in their areas for necessary interventions. He reminded them that they can call toll-free numbers 112 in cases of emergencies or 622 to report complaints bordering on telecommunications services to the NCC.