As part of effort to boost residents access to usage telecommunications in Borno State, the Governor, Babagana Zulum, has met with representatives of Mobile Telephone Network (MTN) to discuss modalities on restoration of networks facilities destroyed by insurgents years ago.
After the meeting, the parties agreed that rehabilitating existing telecommunications locations and installation of facilities before end of the year and its expansion next year were key to returning the state to the pre-insurgency era.
The meeting came barely seven years after telecommunications networks were vandalised in Borno state by Boko Haram members, leaving residents with no means of communication facilities.
At the height of insurgency in Nigeria, some of telecommunications networks were destroyed in Borno by Boko Haram to prevent residents from communicating their activities to the country’s troops deployed to end their operations in the state.
Through a statement made available to newsmen, the state government disclosed that the meeting was sequel to a letter written by the governor to MTN requesting their partnership on repairs of vandalized installations.
It disclosed that four MTN officials, led by General Manager for Northern operations, Abdulhamid Hassan, visited Zulum at Borno’s liaison office in Abuja.
According to the statement, 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.
During the meeting, MTN representatives were said to have 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.
The statement added that 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
Also on the governor’s entourage were Secretary to Borno Government, Usman Jidda Shuwa and the Special Adviser and Coordinator for Sustainable Development, Partnerships and Humanitarian Support, Dr. Mairo Mandara attended the meeting.