The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday said mobile active lines subscriptions have  grown from 206 million in June 2022 to 222 million by December same year.

Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta, made this known at the Army Resource Centre, Abuja, while making a presentation at the 2023 Edition of Youth, Civil Society and Stakeholder Summit on Curbing the Destruction and Vandalisation of Telecom and other Critical National Infrastructures in Nigeria.

Danbatta also said his Commission and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were working together to deliver a free, fair and credible elections with the use of digital platforms.

He said from the data on subscriptions, it was clear that Nigeria’s telecoms markets continued to grow in relation to increase in infrastructure, network capacities and digital economy platforms, among others.

Represented by the Principal Manager, Department of Technical Standards, Mr. Chukwuma Nwenwu, the EVC noted that the Summit became imperative considering Nigeria’s preparations for the 2023 general elections where use of digital platforms for communications would playkey role.

He said vandalisation of telecoms infrastructure has remained a subject of concern to all stakeholders, as reports are received from Mobile Network Operators on the effects of vandalism on their operations across the country.

Danbatta said: “We receive reports of vandalization of telecom infrastructure from the operating telecom companies and these acts impact on the delivered quality of services and the availability of the digital platforms.”

He lamented that disruption of the network services and disconnection of digital platforms, congestion of alternative backup routes/networks, interruption of social and economy activities were issues of concern to the Commission.

Danbatta noted that loss of revenue, ripple effect of vandalism on other networks and network elements as well as delay in network recovery were of concern to all stakeholders.

Speaking on the elections, Danbatta said: “The forthcoming elections, national activities and programmes, communication with friends and families, conducting banking activities especially use of Point of Sales (PoS) machines, all depend on the national telecom infrastructure.

“We all need to protect and preserve these infrastructure, as it will impact severely many aspects of our daily lives and activities in the event of its disruptions.

“The general election is only few days from today and technology, as you are all aware, will play a crucial and key role in delivering free and fair elections to Nigerians.

“The NCC is, therefore, working very hard and collaborating with the INEC to ensure that election results are transmitted electronically as required by law.

“We all have a duty to protect the national telecom infrastructure as such to benefit from the dividends of democracy and good governance.

“The youth and civil society, as critical stakeholders in the development process of any society, have a duty to educate the public of the importance of protecting telecom infrastructure located in their immediate vicinity.”

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