Business Hilights
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(Special Report) Upon presidential directive, Executive Order remains the best for telecoms sector

The recent move made by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isah Pantami which encouraged President Muhammadu Buhari to give a presidential directive to all security agencies to begin a 24 hour surveillance on all telecoms infrastructures nationwide has been received with cheers from the industry captains.

However, experts still maintain that what the sector really need is an Executive Order that will come with teeth and legal backing than mere directive which may or may not be implemented to the letter because it came without any force.

Beside, experts further argue that the said presidential directive to security agencies may not be so new as the industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had over the years been sealing security partnerships with all relevant society agencies in the country.

Some industry pundits expressed disappointment over what they described as the Minister’s in ability to secure an Executive Order that will expressly protect all telecoms infrastructure and further classify them as Critical national Infrastructure (CNI) considering the inability of the National Assembly to do justice to the Bill which had stayed for over one decade at the Assembly.

In their final argument, telecoms investors called on the Minister to still continue pushing at the presidency so as to an Executive Order that will not only make investments in the sector seamless, but create more level playing ground on issues of Right of Way (RoW) across the states and also restrain both states and local governments revenue agencies from undue access to all telecom facilities going forward.

Business Hilights recalls that at the 2019 Telecoms Leadership Forum held in Lagos, stakeholders including, ATCON, ALTON, former Minister, Dr Mrs. Omobola Johnson, and other stakeholders clearly advocated for Executive Oder.

Even at the forum held at Eko Hotels, the Minister, also pontificated that he was working with President to have an Executive Order on telecoms protection signed.

Whereas presidential directive to security agencies on the protection of telecoms infrastructure remains one good move, industry leaders are of the view that the minister still need to push harder at the presidency for an Executive Order or channel his lobbying arsenals to the National Assembly for them to pass the CNI Bill as soon as possible.

Either way will be a big plus than a mere directive for an industry that second to oil and gas in revenue generation for the country.