By Constance Imasuen
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Monday said the organisation has opened talks with critical stakeholders on MTN’s labour issues.
Mr Tony Ojobo, NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, made this known in a statement by in Abuja.
“NCC under the leadership of Prof. Umar Danbatta has opened talks with other critical stakeholders through the office of the Executive Commissioner Stakeholders Management, Mr Sunday Dare on the issue.
“Both Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) and Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON ) leadership are working with NCC on these developments.
“The regulator is working behind the scene to protect telecom infrastructure and minimise telecom service disruptions in order not to compromise, national security, and quality of service and protection of over 160 million subscribers,’’ he said.
Ojobo said that NCC had also activated the Memorandum of Understanding ( MoU with) Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps ( NSCDC) to protect telecom critical national infrastructure.
He said that NCC activated the MoU in the wake of the labour dispute between MTN one of its major licencees and the labour following the protests that had resulted in the vandalisation of telecom infrastructure.
“The NCC on Monday night activated the MOU with NSCDC to protect the switch stations and BTSs belonging to MTN and other telecom operators.
“The commission had contacted Assistant Commandant General (ACG) Jonathan Iyogho of the NSCDC on the matter.
“And directed MTN to liaise with the NSCDC on the issue of the picketing by NLC and the reported destruction of telecom infrastructure across the country.’’
Ojobo said NCC had also briefed the security agencies on developments, particularly the implications of the attempt to shut down the Ojota switch station.
“A collapse of the telecommunications grid is likely, if these attacks on MTN and other telecom facilities are not abated.
“NCC recalls clearly that telecom infrastructure was classified as Critical National Infrastructure under the Cyber Security Act domiciled with the Office of the National Security Adviser,’’ he said.