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Picketing: Civil defence personnel drafted to protect MTN facilities

Men of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have been directed by the Federal Government to protect MTN facilities and other telecom infrastructure from being picketed or vandalised, following labour related dispute between the firm and members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

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A labour dispute broke out on Monday between MTN and NLC, resulting in the vandalization of the telecom’s infrastructure by hoodlums.

But the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Wednesday said it had contacted the NSCDC on the matter and directed MTN to liaise with the NSCDC on the issue of the picketing by NLC and the reported destruction of telecom infrastructure across the country.

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“NCC has also briefed the security agencies on developments particularly the implications of the attempt to shut down the Ojota switch station.

“A collapse of the telecommunications grid is likely, if these attacks on MTN and other telecom facilities are not abated”, NCC said in a statement today.

NCC said telecom infrastructures were classified as Critical National Infrastructure under the Cyber Security Act domiciled with the ONSA and it is an offence to damage it.

It said: “The NCC under the leadership of Prof. Umar Danbatta has opened talks with other critical stakeholders through the office of the Executive Commissioner stakeholders’ management, Mr Sunday Dare on the issue.

“Both ATCON and ALTON leadership are working with NCC on these developments.

“The regulator is working behind the scene to protect telecom infrastructure and minimize telecom service disruptions, in order not to compromise, national security, and quality of service and protection of over 160 million subscribers”, the statement said.

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