Services are currently disrupted in some areas due to the terrorist attacks
Telecommunications companies whose facilities were recently attacked by terrorist group, Boko Haram, have threatened to cut off services in crises-prone states in the north if the attacks escalate.
Suspected Boko Haram members, on Thursday, bombed a base station belonging to an indigenous telecoms infrastructure company, IHS Nigeria, in Kano, barely 24 hours after similar attacks on several base stations in Borno, Yobe, and Bauchi and Gombe states. Communication in the state through cell phones has been disrupted.
Gbenga Adebayo, the Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), said that telecom companies have lost over 25 base stations to the attacks. According to him, a base station costs between N500 million and N1 billion depending on its configuration.
He said that a report had been made to the appropriate authorities including security agencies and the National Communications Commission (NCC), and urged the federal government to be decisive in its intervention in the onslaught against the telecoms firms.
“It is an attack on subscribers; these are the people that are at the receiving end of the services,” he said. “These are Nigerians whose lives depend on telecoms services. If it becomes impossible to continue to do business in the face of rising attacks on telecoms sites, operators will naturally suspend operations in the area. This is because beyond base stations, these elements may begin to target telecoms operators’ offices and data centres, among other key infrastructure. That is why it is important that the situation is curtailed before it gets to that point.”
The JTF in Borno State said on Saturday that the attacks on telecoms masts were designed to disrupt communication services and prevent residents from providing information on the activities of gunmen to the military and the police so that they can protect lives and property.