Telecommunications companies in Nigeria have revealed reasons behind the relocation of their Network Operating Centres from the country to India.
In response to the concern raised by the Nigerian Senate over security threat which might arise from the action, the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) said the move was to seek economic relief.
According to the ATCON President, Olusola Teniola, the relocation to India only affected telcos’ operations in part, noting that “the telecoms firms are not packing out of Nigeria lock-stock-and-barrel” as feared by many.
He further itemised information technology (IT) and back office functions and call center functions as easy aspects that could be operated outside a telcos’ core network infrastructure as measures to make the telecoms services more affordable in the country.
As the operations are outsourced to Business Process Optimisation (BPO) and solution providers domiciling in India, ATCON rated the providers as “extremely good at reducing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) relating to aspects of operation within a telecom’s business model to an exceedingly low level without compromising quality of service delivery.”
According to Teniola, a number of these operators are based in India, and this over the years, has made India the world leader in offering BPO solutions. The ATCON President described relocation of NOC as a trend that has lasted over two decades, adding “ATCON is not surprised that some of its members have finally joined the trend.”
Teniola explained: “Outsourcing of non-essential operations became necessary as the cost of now running them in Nigeria is very high in comparison to the level of income generated. “So in order for an operator to remain in business, cost efficiencies need to be included and hence it is the prudent decision by their management to consider all options to ensure their business remains viable and sustained.”
The Senate Committee on Telecommunication had in a press statement, signed by its Chairman, Senator Gilbert Nnaji, described the relocation as a threat to national security. “Some of the companies have started relocating their network operation centres from Nigeria to India, which has grave implications on national security, as these centres would be monitored by foreigners from outside the shores of Nigeria,” the statement read.