Telecommunication companies under the aegis of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria have said that rising insecurity in the nation is hindering their ability to deliver communication services to their subscribers, warning that the development may lead to a communication blackout if it persists.
According to the President, ALTON, Mr Gbenga Adebayo, it has become unsafe for telcos to physically manage their infrastructure in many parts of the nation.
As such, he said this might lead to pressure on the few network channels that are available, causing network disruptions across the nation.
He stated, “We are deeply concerned about the insecurity in the nation. If the environment is not safe, we can’t provide seamless services.
“This is because while networks operate wireless loops, the support is done by people. There are many instances where people cannot access sites, for example, to supply diesel. If something goes wrong on a site, it is reported electronically. But we need to go and visit it physically.
“Presently, we can’t visit those sites. It is happening now that there are parts of the country, where it is not in the city and town, we can’t provide any service. So, if there are outages happening in some places at 6pm, irrespective of where it is, we consider the risk of sending people and waiting until 12 hours after.
“There are some areas we cannot even access, during the day or night. These are areas affected by insurgency and terrorism. Who wants to travel by road to Kaduna from Abuja? Or to Kano, or Zamfara, or Yobe.
“There is an understanding that it is the duty of the government to keep everyone safe and secured, but when you have people dying from actions of terrorism, it is bad luck. So, it is impossible to send staff to sites in certain areas.”
While commending security agencies for the work they had done so far, Adebayo noted that the general state of security in the nation had made it difficult for telcos to provide 24/7 support in certain areas.
According to him, the government must act to avoid incidences of communication blackouts. He said, “Where services are available, people can communicate, if services are not available it affects the lives and safety of people.”
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