FG mulls executive order for telecoms infrastructure.

The minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami says he is proposing an Executive Order to declare telecommunications facilities as critical national infrastructure.
The minister disclosed this on Thursday when the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, ATCON paid him a courtesy visit in his office. To realize the objective, the minister said he had minuted a proposal to the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC on the proposed Executive Order which will be presented to President Buhari seeking to declare telecommunications facilities as critical national infrastructure. He also revealed that he had already further taken steps to brief the President on the issue bothering on telecom infrastructure including the issues of vandalization and power.   To further address some major issue militating against the growth of the telecom sector, Pantami said the ministry has been working on issues of vandalization and Right of Way. ‘‘Working on issues of vandalization, Right of Way and issue of National infrastructure.  I have minuted a proposal to NCC on a proposed Executive Order to be presented to President Buhari seeking to declare telecommunications facilities as critical national infrastructure. ‘‘I had already briefed him on the issue including the issues of vandalization and power. I told him about the total number of generators operators are managing and he was worried and he said that was the reason he is focusing on infrastructure because if the issue of power is addressed, many businesses will thrive. ‘‘I have directed NCC to reach out to me every 48 hours so that we make progress on issue of critical infrastructure and other pending issues we are handling.’’ On broadband penetration, the minister said the 2019-2025 broadband Plan should not be limited to this administration tenure which will end by 2023, but should outlive the present administration, so that any administration that comes in after should have something to work with. ‘‘I have directed NCC to give targets to Broadband service providers and will intervene to facilitate things when needed.’’ Earlier in his address, the President of ATCON, Olusola Teniola said the objective of the visit was to openly commend the great work the minister had been doing ever since he became DG of NITDA and now that he had been appointed minister, to discuss issues that are militating against the growth of the wider telecoms industry and also to share thoughts with him on how telecom and ICT can serve as a needed catalysts for economic development in Nigeria. Teniola, further commended the minister for taking Nigeria‘s involvement at GITEX in October to next level said the association is  looking forward  to the full compliance  to the ICT Local Content Guidelines to the industry recently introduced by NITDA. He further listed other areas of concern. They include: regulation toolkit updates with NCC, NITDA and NBC; 70% Broadband Plan Target by 2024 and declaration of telecom facilities as national Critical Infrastructure.

First Seen on Vanguard News, written by Emmanuel Elebeke.