Nigeria has urged the West African region to adopt a coordinated and multilateral strategy to safeguard shared telecommunications infrastructure and enhance connectivity diversification to ensure uninterrupted services.

Nigeria map
Nigeria map

This call comes in response to recent incidents of undersea cable cuts that disrupted connectivity across several countries in the region.

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Dr. Aminu Maida, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), delivered this message during the 21st West Africa Telecommunications Regulatory Assembly (WATRA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Freetown, Sierra Leone, from March 19th to 22nd, 2024.

According to the Commission’s statement, Maida emphasized the urgency for the subregion to establish a mechanism to protect itself from damage to submarine infrastructure and mitigate its adverse effects. He referenced a report by Cloudflare, an IT service management firm, highlighting ongoing outages affecting six countries, including four in West Africa, due to the recent submarine cable cuts.

In addition, Maida underscored the significance of a secure telecom infrastructure in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and bolstering investor confidence in the West African sub-region.

He emphasized that reliable and resilient telecommunications networks are crucial factors for investors when assessing regional opportunities. Securing these vital assets can attract more investment, stimulate economic growth, and enhance regional competitiveness globally.

To address these challenges, Maida proposed the establishment of a framework for joint monitoring, risk mitigation, and emergency response procedures for submarine cables passing through the sub-region.

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