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Terror attacks, floods damage 85 Airtel Nigeria cell sites

Abuja, Oct 31, 2012, (PTI) 12:10 IST
Terror attacks and floods in several parts of Nigeria have damaged 85 installation sites of Airtel Nigeria, part of India's telecom leader Bharti Airtel.

The damage has affected operations of 234 sites across the regions where the terror attacks and flooding occurred, Airtel Nigeria's Director of Regulatory Affairs and Special Projects Osondu Nwokoro said in Lagos on Tuesday.

He said 32 sites were damaged by floods, affecting operations of 41 sites across the region, and 53 installation sites were impacted by terror attacks, hitting operations in 193 sites across the Northern part of Nigeria.

Nwokoro, who wants Nigeria to declare all telecoms equipment in the country as critical national infrastructure, said the incidents have led to further loss of sites and fiber capacities.

According to him, the armed insurgency in some parts of the North have also hindered the routine preventive 24 hours maintenance of telecoms facilities.

He mentioned the states of Adamawa, Gombe, Kano, Bauchi, Borno, Yobe and Kaduna as the worst hit by the terror attacks and cities of Lokoja, Asaba, Ugheli- Patani and Patani-Elele as the worst hit by the flood.

"The disasters have resulted in spiralling costs of maintenance in affected locations to thrice the normal rate, consequently leading to colossal financial losses and dipping revenues," he said.

The loss of capacity occasioned by these threats often affects quality of service delivery and customer experience leading to a drop in Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), he added.

However, Nwokoro assured Airtel Nigeri's subscribers that the company has taken decisive steps to mitigate the damage done to its facilities by sealing facility-sharing agreements with other telecom operators.

Airtel Nigeria has also engaged the services of a private security companies to protect its facilities in the troubled states.

Since the beginning of the rainy season, more than 140 people have lost their lives to flooding within the country just as thousands were rendered homeless and farmlands submerged.

Radical Islamic sect, Boko Haram, has claimed responsibility for recent attacks on Airtel and other telecoms installations in northern parts of Nigeria.

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