NCC Moves to Curtail Spread of COVID-19

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Emma Okonji

Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecommunications industry regulator has put in place new measures to reduce COVID-19 spread.

The Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), had listed new measures that NCC must implement to make telecoms network resilient throughout the outbreak of the virus.

In a statement issued by NCC thursday and signed by its Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Henry Nkemadu, NCC said the new measure will support initiatives by other stakeholders to curtail the scourge.

The commission in conjunction with industry players and all other government agencies, has agreed to reduce the frequency of physical meetings all through the period of the outbreak and consider alternative electronic meeting platforms, in order to reduce person to person contact that may arise from travels or meetings.

According to the statement, “departments within the commission that interface with customers have developed e-platforms where all licensing requests, consumer complaints and BTS investigation requests could be channeled or provide designated e-mail addresses to be used for such requests throughout the pandemic period.

“The commission has also approved resource sharing by operators throughout the period of coronavirus. These include fibre optics cables and other resources in the event of cable cuts and other unforeseen developments during the period of coronavirus outbreak.

“The commission has also directed Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to ensure that their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes are in tandem with government initiatives to curtail the COVID-19 pandemic in order to provide safety and support aid materials that will protect the public against coronavirus.

“All social and official visits to the Commission have been cancelled immediately and visitors advised to use relevant online platforms and or telephone services in accessing the Commission’s services. For those who may be affected, we implore them to take advantage of the Emergency Communications Centres (ECC) by dialing the toll free number 112.”

The statement said NCC would support Right of Passage (RoP) for all telecommunications members for easy movement in the event of a total lockdown and or restriction of movement.

The regulator is also in support of Right of Passage (RoP) for suppliers that are involved in supplies of fuels, foods and other support services to telecom operators, to allow for free movement in the event of partial or total lockdown as a result of the coronavirus.