Vandalism: NCC Urges The Media To Up The Stakes

Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has weighed in on the worrisome acts of vandalism of critical infrastructure describing such deliberate destruction as concerning yet avoidable.

The EVC, Aminu Maida expressed the concern when the Executives of the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters’ Association (NITRA), Abuja Chapter visited him in Abuja on Wednesday, December 20, 2023.

While he conceded that such ugly developments are assuming an alarming proportion, he however, believes that with adequate sensitization, the vandals would get to understand better that such wanton destruction does no one any good.

“Again, vandalism and disruptions are another area of concern because they are avoidable. The Stakeholders understand. We know people responsible might not be intentional because they do not see the larger picture of shutting down a base station. Those are the kind of stories I would like NITRA to bring up,” he urged.

Maida further tasked the media to enlighten Nigerians on Strategic Roadmap of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC ) so that everyone would be on the same page.

“I think the strategy put forward by the Minister was very clear in terms of policy direction and we have to try to achieve it. We also need to make sure we are telling the story in a very fair and simple way, whether to the man on the street or internationally, I see you being very critical in telling that story.”

He added,“at the end of January we will be releasing our Strategic Plan for the NCC and by and large for the industry in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda.”

Speaking further, he craved the support of the Information Technology Reporters in creating awareness on the areas the Commission has started work.

“We need your support to help to enlighten the people to know what we are doing and talking about.

“The number of broadband penetration targets set by the Minister to achieve is very clear but what people do not realize is that this thing is a complicated, interrelated system of components that have to come together in harmony for us to move forward.

“I think, how we tell that story is very important and also it is going to require a bit of patience for people to trust us. We need to tell stories that give people hope so that we can get that space to implement but it is not going to be an easy job,” he admitted.

On the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Card and the National Identification Number (NIN) linkage, he assured that the exercise isn’t a one-off.

“Again, we are trying to push forward the work started by our predecessors to link NIN to SIM. Although, we are being pragmatic in dealing with the challenges but it is a job that must be completed because the benefits far outweigh the pains.”

Speaking earlier in an address, the NITRA President, Blessing Olaifa spoke in glowing terms about the capacity and competence of Aminu Maida ‘to drive this institution (NCC) to greater height.’

He dwelt on the symbiotic relationship between NITRA and the NCC, just as he expressed optimism that better days are ahead.

“We congratulate you for your appointment by the President and confirmation by the National Assembly.

“It has been a long journey that we have been partnering with the Commission, our membership are drawn from the sectors of the media.

“We appreciate the performances of the former EVC, who took broadband penetration from 19% to over 40%, telecom mobile subscription was about 150m and left it at about 202m. internet penetration moved from 80m to over 150m.

“These are great achievements. In terms of contribution to GDP growth, the telecoms and ICT in general played leading roles in the last three years. And we have played our role these past years and counting.

“We believe you will build on what Danbatta achieved not just in telecom but in the media.

“We believe you can partner with us in a mutually beneficial way because the telecom institution is growing very fast, not only in Nigeria but across the globe,” Olaifa narrated.

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