Policy & Regulation

Nigeria: House Set to Pass Bill On Telecoms Equipment

Updated:2013/11/22 10:50

The National Assembly will soon pass into law a bill that will regard telecoms facilities in Nigeria as a critical national infrastructure.

A member of the House Committee on Communications, Abiodun Awoleye, gave the hint in Lagos at the First Conference of African Telecoms Regulators on Consumer Affairs (CATCO), 2013, organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

According to him, the bill with specific focus on telecoms sector will soon become a law in Nigeria as the House was keen on fast-tracking the passage of the bill into law.

Awoleye, who represented the Chairman of the House Committee, Hon. Oyetunde Ojo at the event noted that such critical national infrastructure law already exist for the protection of oil and gas and power infrastructures hence, the role of telecommunications and reports of re-occurrence vandalisation of telecoms facilities in the country made it necessary for similar law with specific reference to telecoms sector.

He said: "In view of this, as lawmakers with understanding of the critical role Information and Communication Technology can play in an economy, we have fast-tracked legislative measures to ensure that we have the Telecoms National Infrastructure Bill passed into law. As I speak with you, the Bill has passed first and second reading in the lower legislative chamber and once this is harmonised with the Position of the Senate, the upper legislative chamber, it means the next thing for the bill will be the President's assent and then it become law."

Awoleye informed that the lawmakers would continue to engender legislation that would protect the over $25 billion telecoms investment with a view to ensuring that subscribers get content quality of services.

He said the bill when passed into law, will criminalise any act of vandalism or sabotage against ICT infrastructures, since they will now be classified as critical national security infrastructures.

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