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NCC’s Maida calls for multilateral approach to ensure uninterrupted connectivity in West Africa

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In response to recent disruptions caused by undersea cable cuts, Nigeria is spearheading a call for unified action across the West African region to safeguard critical telecommunications infrastructure and ensure uninterrupted connectivity.

During the 21st West Africa Telecommunications Regulatory Assembly (WATRA) Annual General Meeting held in Freetown, Sierra Leone, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Aminu Maida emphasized the need for a coordinated approach to protect shared submarine cables.

Highlighting the impact of recent outages on connectivity across 12 African countries, Maida stressed the importance of securing telecom infrastructure to attract foreign investment and enhance investor confidence in the region.

He referenced a report by Cloudflare, underscoring the urgency of the situation.

Maida proposed establishing a framework for joint monitoring, risk mitigation, and emergency response procedures for submarine cables passing through the region.

He recommended expanding the mandate of the WATRA Working Group on Infrastructure to develop comprehensive strategies for safeguarding telecommunications networks and enhancing resilience.

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The objectives of this initiative include strengthening infrastructure resilience, promoting connectivity diversification, conducting regular capacity assessments, and designating telecommunications infrastructure as a critical national asset in member countries.

WATRA, established in 2002, serves as a platform for national telecommunications regulatory authorities in 16 member states to promote regulations that stimulate investment in telecom infrastructure, ensuring affordable, accessible, and secure communication services for citizens.

Discussions at the AGM also covered topics such as consumer protection, quality of service, roaming, and conflict resolution.

A significant moment was the unanimous reelection of Nigeria’s Yusuf Aliyu Aboki as Executive Secretary for a second term, praised for his visionary leadership and successful delivery of WATRA’s strategic plan.

Maida commended Aboki’s accomplishments and urged him to continue advancing the interests of the sub-region through strengthened partnerships and collaboration.

Nigeria and the entire West African region look forward to building on the progress made under his leadership.

(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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