Following various damages done to telecommunications facilities across the country, 10 insurance firms paid out over N383 million to the affected operators, New Telegraph has learnt.

This was contained in a report by Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA).

According to details of payments under fire peril, a larger chunk of the money, amounting to N315.63 million, was paid to one mobile telecommunication companies, MTN Nigeria, while others, including Airtel, Visafone, EMTS/Etisalat (now 9mobile) and Emerging Markets Telecom Services Limited got the difference amounting to N68.63 million.

Further breakdown revealed that 10 underwriting firms made the claims payment based on the losses suffered by the firms.The insurance firms involved include Axa Mansard, Custodian and Allied Insurance Limited, Leadway Assurance Co. Limited, Mutual Benefits Assurance Limited, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc and Staco Insurance Plc.

Others are Sterling Assurance Nigeria Limited, Zenith General Insurance Limited and AIICO Insurance Plc.

Telecoms operators in the country have suffered various damages to their facilities across the country with hoodlums vandalising some while some others have been damaged by fire.

Worst hit are those located in the North East, which suffered serious attack during the early days of Boko Haram insurgency in the region.

According to reports by Association of Licensed Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ALTON), billions of naira was lost to such vandalism during the peak period of the attacks.

ALTON’s Chairman, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, said: “The issue of telecoms infrastructure destruction in the north east cannot be over emphasised. The association requests the Federal Government to compensate the service providers because as we have internally displaced people, so also we have internally displaced telecoms operators. It is sad that nobody is talking about the service providers that lost several millions of naira to destruction of their infrastructure.”

Under the country’s new cybercrime law, telecommunication facilities are deemed to be strategic national infrastructures and it is a crime to wilful damage telecommunication infrastructures.

With infrastructures down in several communities in north-eastern, connecting calls among many family members and businesses have been difficult until recently when relative peace is prevailing.

Telecoms operators had said they would need billions of naira to restore services and a special intervention bailout fund should be earmarked to get operators to salvage “the very terrible situation.”

Before recession set into the economy, ALTON said it cost about N24.75 million to install a single base station together with its tower, special antennas and two generators to power the station.

Earlier report had revealed that at the end of 2011, there were approximately 20,000 base stations in Nigeria serving a population of more than 150 million people.

Adebayo had called on operators to increase this number to around 75,000 in order to meet Quality of Service (QoS) mandates laid down by the regulator.

According to NIA, while a total of N20.144 million was paid to EMTS/Etisalat, N9.66 million was paid to Emerging Markets Telecoms Services Limited.

In the same vein, Airtel received N20.53 million while Visafone got N11.71 million.

The data also revealed that Custodian and Allied, which made nine payments in all to EMTS/Etisalat, paid the highest amount of N177.2 million followed by AIICO with N58.68 to MTN and Emerging Markets.

This was closely followed by AXA Mansard with N34.04 million, Zenith General Insurance, N30.48 million, Leadway, N26.09 million, Mutual Benefits, N20.53 million, Staco, N18.07 million, and Sovereign Trust, N14.69 million.

Source: Newtelegraphonline.