The National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS) on Sunday called for a law that would make vandalism of telecommunications equipment a capital offence.
The President of NATCOMS, Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo, said in Lagos that this was necessary to protect telecommunications installations and promote effective service delivery.
Ogunbanjo said that the law would prevent vandals from sabotaging telecommunications infrastructure and frustrating the efforts of operators in providing quality services.
He said there had been frequent vandalism of telecommunications equipment, especially in violence-prone areas.
He regretted that the situation had disrupted services.
Ogunbanjo said that the vandalism was adversely affecting economic activities of people who depended on telecoms for their livelihood.
He advised that the Federal Government should not leave the protection of telecoms facilities to the operators alone because of their importance.
The NATCOMS president urged that the government should declare telecommunications facilities as critical national infrastructure.
“Vandalism of critical infrastructure has ripple effects on the economy, including job losses and reduced tax income,” he said.
Ogunbanjo warned that frequent vandalism of telecoms facilities could frustrate the operators’ efforts in providing better services.
He said that disruption of services did not only disconnect subscribers but also paralysed businesses and other activities.
“Damage to telecoms facilities will throw many people out of job as less recharge cards will be sold, Internet Cafes will be out of business, while security and emergencies will be affected,” he said.
Ogunbanjo called on the government to beef up security around telecoms installations nationwide to prevent agents of economic sabotage from destroying them.