The Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications is calling on the general public and the security agencies to help clamp down on theft of telecommunications equipment and materials at various cell sites across the country.
It says one of the major challenges confronting telecommunications companies is the theft of their equipment at cell sites.
They include theft associated with passive equipment such as batteries, fuel, air-conditioners, copper cables, among others.
In recent times, theft associated with active cables like Ericsson Boards and Huawei Boards, among others, have been recorded in various areas.
For instance, on May 4, 2022, a theft involving active equipment was recorded at Kusugu in the Northern Region, with a very recent one happening on Monday, 9th May 2022 in Tamale.
The Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications explains that these and many other cases of theft involving active equipment continue to happen in many parts of the country, with 43.5% of the cases recorded in the Ashanti Region.
According to the Chamber, about 115 active pieces of equipment have been stolen from 2020 to 2022 across the country.
Speaking at a news conference in Kumasi, the Chief Executive Officer for the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Dr. Kenneth Kwaku Ashigbe said this negatively affects a lot of electronic activities of telecommunication companies and must be dealt with as early as possible.
“It is something that is really worrying. In the past it has been fuel, they will steal fuel, they will steal batteries, copper cables, then they might steal air-conditioners, even the electronic padlocks, some of them were being stolen. So this one we call them passive equipment. But now, we are beginning to experience active equipment. For just the active equipment, since August 2020, data from the three networks, we have had 115,” he noted.
He lamented that these activities pose severe impact on electronic activities as they cause interruptions in network provision.
“All of these issues have national security implications. Can you imagine that a network goes down and at a particular place, vehicles are driving and at that particular point they cannot make a call? The armed robbers will have a field day. And then in the case of an emergency, somebody has to make a call, somebody has to call fire service, the ambulance service, but because you have gone to take this equipment, the site is down,” Mr. Ashigbe explained.
The Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications thus wants the general public to volunteer information that could help the police and other security agencies to apprehend persons involved in the stealing of the equipment.
“With all of these things and with all the challenges that we are facing us, what we are saying to all of you Ghanaians is that enough is enough. We cannot continue to allow these nation wreckers to continue doing what they are doing. The impact on us is very severe. We are collaborating with all these security agencies, with the intelligence agencies and what we are saying is that now for anybody, any anybody whistle-blower, who would bring out information and intelligence that will lead to the arrest of any of these national wreckers, we are promising you a very handsome reward. We will go a step further, if based on the whistle you blow, we are able to successfully, prosecute and get jail sentences, we will add up to that. So that is a commitment that we are making to all Ghanaians,” he pleaded.