The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has directed all telecommunications providers to shut down services in Zamfara State from September 3 due to rising cases of insecurity.
Last week, Governor, Bello Matawalle had announced the closure of all weekly markets in the state as part of measures to address the worsening security situation.
In a letter addressed to the Chief Executive Officers of the telecoms companies, the decision was “to enable relevant security agencies to carry out required activities towards addressing the security challenges in the state.”
Titled “Re: Shutdown of All Telecom Sites in Zamfara State,” the letter was signed by Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NCC.
“The pervading security situation in Zamfara State has necessitated an immediate shut down of all telecom services in the state from today, September 3, 2021,” the letter read in part.
Consequently, the NCC directed the operators to shut down all sites in Zamfara State and any site(s) in neighbouring states that could provide telecommunications service in Zamfara State.
“The site shutdown is for two weeks (September 03-17, 2021) in the first instance. Your urgent action in this regard is required,” the letter read.
Although the directive was specific about Zamfara State, the reference to any other facilities in any site(s) in neighbouring states that could provide telecommunications service in Zamfara State, means that other states sharing boundaries with the state would be affected by the shutdown.
Service signal from a cell tower could reach up to 45 miles away, depending on the technology of the cellphone network. And Zamfara shares boundaries with Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Kaduna and Katsina State.