EXCLUSIVE: Boko Haram vandalism stalls mobile telco’s expansion plansby SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – NIGERIA’S biggest mobile network operator bemoaned the incessant destruction of its infrastructure by the notorious Boko Haram sect saying it was impacting negatively on its growth targets and quality of services.
A senior MTN Nigeria executive disclosed the Islamic extremist sect had destroyed more than 120 sites to date, particularly in the northeast where terror is most rife.
In an exclusive interview with CAJ News Africa in Johannesburg on Wednesday, MTN Nigeria Chief Executive Officer, Michael Ikpoki, said outlawed Boko Hararm activities, were restricting the company from implementing its expansion programmes.
“The Boko Haram has destroyed a total of 120 MTN sites (masts) during periods between 2013 and 2014. A total of 80 sites were destroyed during the last quarter of last year (2014), and this has held us back in terms of growth,” said Ikpoki.
He nonetheless praised the Nigeria military’s renewed campaign against the terrorist group adding the rejuvenated army was recording a commendable job repelling the insurgents.
The military has in recent days reported major breakthroughs against the terrorists, reclaiming some areas the latter had gained control of.
“We still have the Boko Haram challenge but I would like to commend the Nigerian military for its renewed campaign aimed at bringing stability in the eastern and northern Nigeria. We have seen some positive changes taking place as a result of the military intervention,” Ikpoki said.
Since 2009, during a violent campaign to carve an Islamic state in the continent’s most populous country and biggest economy, Boko Haram has killed more than 30 000 people and displaced more than 1 million from their homes.
– CAJ News
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