WCRD 2023: Telecoms infrastructure have helped to reduce other environmental environment-impacting activities – Prof Danbatta

Oru Leonard 

Executive Vice- Chairman, Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), has noted that telecoms infrastructure have helped to reduce other environment-impacting activities such as travel

Danbatta stated this in his opening remarks during the The World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD), 2023. He said that this year’s event themed, Empowering Consumers through Clean Energy Transition“,  will allow participants to carefully examine the unintended side-effects of our critical social infrastructure on our environment.

“The Nigerian telecoms industry today boasts of over 226 million voice customers and over 156 million internet customers as at 31 January, 2023. These consumers leverage on communications infrastructure for social interaction, health service, access to education, banking, etc.” he disclosed.

He further explained that as consumer volumes and service diversity continue to grow, network operators have to roll-out more infrastructure for coverage in new, mostly rural areas, and for network expansion in already saturated urban markets.

According to him, Emerging technologies like 5th Generation (5G) mobile services will also require more infrastructure. These infrastructure components are mostly powered by fossil fuels to ensure 100% availability. Without pre-empting the planned discussions about the environmental impacts of these activities, it is important that we ask ourselves some pertinent questions.

L-R: Oladokun Oye, Vice President, Retail and Postpaid, Airtel Nigeria; Abdulrahman Ado, Executive Director, 9Mobile; Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Dr. Chris Nwanoro, President, National Disability Empowerment Forum; Prof. Adeolu Akande, Chairman, Board of Commissioners, NCC; Abdulazeez Salman, Commissioner, NCC; Ugonwa Nwoye, Chief Customer Relations Officer, MTN Plc, at the commemoration of the World Consumer Rights Day 2023 by the Commission in Abuja on Wednesday (March 15, 2023).

The EVC then asked some questions:  Are there more environmentally conscious means by which we can power network infrastructure and reduce our carbon footprint?

-can we quantify these benefits and do they offset the negative impacts? Have we convinced everyone about the safety of electromagnetic emissions? Can we find a balance between environmentally-friendly network operations and cheaper services; or do we have to choose one over the other? How can we improve the quality of the environment through our network services and how can we grow public consciousness about responsible services using telecoms infrastructure?

Prof Danbatta said that stakeholders  must find answers to these and other nagging questions expressed his pleasure that the organizers of WCRD 2023 have carefully designed a programme of events that will help answer the questions.

He therefore encouraged participants to give full and undivided attention to the speeches, presentations, discussions and participate fully in the activities lined up for this year’s celebration.

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