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Senate warns of security risk

…..as communication companies relocate Operation Centres from Nigeria to India

The Senate on Thursday, drew the attention of the federal government to another dimension of security challenge threatening the country, due to undermining activities of telecommunication firms operating in Nigeria.

At the budget defense session of the ministry of communications, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Communications, Senator Gilbert Nnaji, alerted the ministry, “that some of the companies have started relocating their Network Operation Centres (NOC) from Nigeria to India, which has grave implication on national security, as these centres would be monitored by foreigners from outside the shores of Nigeria”.

While requesting the Minister to urgently take necessary actions towards arresting the situation before it degenerates, Senator Nnaji further expressed serious concern over “indiscriminate sack of competent Nigerian employees at the expense of their foreign counterparts; contravention of expatriate quota, casualization, intimidation and discrimination of indigenous staff” by the network providers.

Responding, the Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, assured the committee that, he would critically review those issues and report back immediately to the committee with regard to measures to check them.

He also announced that, before the end of the first quarter of this year, the ministry would inaugurate the implementation committee for the transformation of the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) located in the six geo-political zones of the country into Information and Communications Technology, ICT, University.

This, according to him, was to start producing graduates and skilled manpower, that would fit into the modern GSM industry and international market.

The total budget proposal was N18, 750, 951, 876 while N11, 206, 732,734 and N7, 544, 169, 142 represented recurrent and capital expenditure respectively.

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