By Francis Okoye, Maiduguri
Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Umara Zulum has hosted officials of Mobile Telephone Network, MTN, to discuss restoration of telecommunication networks in some local government areas of Borno State.
Boko Haram had since 2013 serially destroyed telecommunication equipment in a number of LGs, as part of their techniques to prevent communities from making rescue calls and from tipping off security agencies on the movements of the insurgents before and during attacks.
Zulum had sent letters to MTN, requesting collaborative efforts on the repairs of vandalized installations.
An MTN group of four officials, led by Abdulhamid Hassan, General Manager for Northern operations, visited Zulum at Borno’s liaison office in Abuja. Secretary to Borno Government, Alhaji Usman Jidda Shuwa and the Special Adviser and Coordinator for Sustainable Development, Partnerships and Humanitarian Support, Dr. Mairo Mandara attended the meeting.
The visiting group also set up a video conference between the Governor, MTN’s Chief Technical Officer, Mohammed Rufai, General Manager, Regulatory Affairs, Ikenna Ikenne and the Chief Corporate Services Officer, Tobechukwu Okigbo, who spoke from Lagos.
The MTN informed Zulum that it has 57 sites requiring works across Borno State and would work with the State Government to identify areas of priority attention from the company’s operational and budgeted plans for the remaining part of 2020 and the year, 2021.
Zulum nominated Borno’s Commissioner for Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation as well as another official, to liaise with MTN’s team towards collaborative efforts.
The Governor also raised other issues with the MTN, for which the Chief Corporate Services Officer, Okigbo, promised looking getting back to Borno State through the MTN foundation, an arm that executes the company corporate social responsibility interventions.