Science & Technology

Draft document on protecting telecoms infrastructure awaits presidential assent — Pantami



The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, says the draft document on the Executive Order protecting Telecommunications Infrastructure across the country has been reviewed by the relevant authorities.

He added  that the draft was awaiting presidential assent.

Pantami disclosed this during his keynote address in a virtual sectoral forum, organised by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), on Thursday in Abuja.

The forum had the theme: Meeting the Interests of Government, Consumers and Telecoms and ICT Companies in the Era of COVID-19 and Post COVID-19 Pandemic for Digital Economy Development.

It was aimed aimed at finding a mutually beneficial common ground for every interest in the sector.

The minister noted that the protection of the rights of citizens and consumers was of utmost priority to the Federal Government, especially those who were struggling.

“The ministry is currently working on a policy that will reinforce existing Executive Orders 003 and 005, to ensure that priority is given to indigenous manpower and expertise.

“In the ministry we always try to strike a balance by protecting the interest of consumers and citizens on one hand and the telecoms companies on the other.

“The consumer is king and they must be consulted and their rights protected,” he said.

He, however, explained that in order to create an enabling environment for both investors and consumers, the government had intervened by enacting policies to protect telecommunications infrastructure.

According to him, the policies will also review the cost of Right of Way (RoW), to the barest minimum and also put measures in place to eradicate illegal or multiple taxation.

In his response, the President of ATCON, Mr Olusola Teniola, commended Pantami for his unprecedented interventions in every issue that had hitherto plagued and constituted a setback to the sector.

Teniola expressed optimism that with Pantami’s interventions and support the challenges of quality of service, price of data and broadband penetration, would improve considerably.

He pledged the association’s support to the initiatives and strategies of the minister, in ensuring that the industry operated in line with global best practices.

Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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