Nigeria’s telecoms regulator has ordered network operators to shut down services in Zamfara State as insecurity persists in that part of North Western Nigeria.
According to some media reports, quoting a memo reportedly signed by the Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Danbatta, the shutdown is to last for two weeks to enable security agencies tackle rising wave of banditry.
In the leaked memo, now much publicized, addressed to one of the mobile network operators, and signed by Professor Umar Danbatta, the regulator said the shutdown of telecoms sites had become necessary due to the lingering insecurity in the state.
NCC, telcos silent over ‘Shutdown Order’
NCC has not confirmed the authenticity of the memo.
Part of the memo reads: “The pervading security situation in Zamfara has necessitated an immediate shutdown of all telecommunications services in the state from today, September 3, 2021. This is to enable relevant security agencies to carry out the required activities towards addressing the security challenge in the state.
“In line with this requirement, Globacom is hereby directed to shut down all sites in Zamfara State and any sites(s) in neighbouring states that could provide telecommunications services in Zamfara State. The site shut down is for two weeks from September 3 to September 17, 2021, in the first instance. Your urgent action in this regard is required.”
IT Edge News could not also get confirmation from any of the four major telcos in the country. “We cannot speak on the matter as it is highly sensitive,” one telco said in Lagos.
The Zamfara state government shut down all schools last week after the abduction of 73 students from a public school to add to the rising cases of violence.
The Federal Government six months ago declared Zamfara State a ‘no-fly zone’ and banned all mining activities in the state. But attacks against communities and kidnapping have persisted.