Telecommunication operators in the country have been urged not to place their desire for more profits above the security needs of the nation.
President Muhammadu Buhari gave this charge in faraway Abu Dhabi while at an interactive forum with members of the Nigerian Community there. He said all telecommunication companies operating in the country must adhere to the rules and guidelines of the Nigerian Communications Commission in this regard.
The President said the registration of all mobile phone users without exception will help the security agencies to pre-empt terrorist attacks. According to him, the war against terrorism can only be won with collective effort and a commitment by all stakeholders to work in unison to halt the scourge.
MTN Nigeria is currently at loggerhead with the Nigerian Communication Commission over a $3.4bn fine arising from the operator’s inability to deactivate over 5million unregistered lines within a specific period of time. The telecom giant has since gone to court to challenge the fine
Meanwhile, in a statement by the President’s senior special assistant on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, President Buhari assured the gathering that his administration will deal decisively with the seeming resurgence of oil theft, vandalisation of pipelines and insecurity in the Niger Delta.
He declared that the Nigerian Armed Forces had already dealt “deadly blows” on Boko Haram, stressing that the activities of oil thieves and vandals will soon be brought to an end. “The oil thieves and abductors are a less problematic target. We will re-organise and deal with them,” he said.
President Buhari assured Nigerians at the interactive session that his administration’s war against corruption will continue to be vigorously pursued. He pledged that more people who have abused the public trust will be exposed and brought to justice soon, adding that his government was committed to re-establishing former standards of accountability and probity in the management of public funds which were jettisoned under past administrations.
The President appealed for more patience and understanding from Nigerians as his administration takes steps to safeguard the economy from the shock of falling oil prices. “In the face of our new economic reality of dwindling oil prices, there are a number of things we can really do without to preserve our economy,” he explained.