Isa Pantami, Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, has said that the telecommunications sector values the safety of Nigerians far more than the economic proceeds.
Pantami said this during the official launch of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Strategic Vision Plan (SVP) 2021-2026, podcast and a compendium of Executive Vice-Chairman’s (EVC’s) speeches in Abuja.
The minister made the comment following the rising rate of kidnap and insurgency which has crippled some sectors of the Nigerian economy.
Pantami said, “We have even been compromising the economic progress of our sector because of our aim in supporting security institutions.
“At any point in time in the telecommunications sector, our position is that security takes precedence over economic benefits. Security is our priority followed by economic benefits. But if two things can be pursued; this one is our priority.
“When something happens and a phone number is involved, your own function is to transmit that number to security institutions like the police and DSS. You tell them that your brother has been kidnapped and this is the number they used in contacting us.
“The police or DSS knows the procedure and they will communicate with the NCC or telecom providers for biodata.
“Constitutionally, your phone conversation should be confidential. Look at the Constitution of Nigeria (Section 37) and 39 and see clearly that it is only the Cybercrime Act 2015 and a subsidiary legislation of the commission that allows the government that when a crime is committed, there is what is called lawful interception.”