Government Must Make and Enforce Law to Curb Cybercrime – Pastor Lekan Balogun, MD, Bitflux Communications-Interview conducted by Senior correspondent Tayo Adewusi.

As one of the top practitioner in the telecommunication ecosystem, can you say we have the necessary infrastructure we need to offer telecommunication seamlessly?

There’s always room for expansion and improvement. As a licensed telecommunication service provider, we have done a lot for the networks. We have also signed on some partners and they are major mobile network operators and providers in the country. When we focus on the operation on the network roll out, they can then focus on marketing.

Your company is a wholesale broadband service provider. What model do you adopt?

It’s all about service delivery. People want quality and reliable service on their device in a fast, simple and convenient way. So being a wholesale provider, the model has afforded us to be able to concentrate on the network operation whereby we can build a robust system that is reliable and that can give people access to fast data and large content. As a wholesale service provider it has helped us to concentrate on the backend and ensure the system is available and effective. We have also supported our partners with cost effective system, so by the time they are selling to the end-users they can sell at a very competitive price.  The sales and marketing is done by our partners but we support them. Our partners are happy. We are also happy that the end-users are happy.

The cost of gaining access to the internet is high. Accessibility is one. Availability and affordability are different ball game altogether. How can this be addressed?

In Nigeria, the issue of power supply is a major problem and concern to operators. The cost of generating this power is huge, and it will definitely go somewhere. At the end of the day, it goes to the end-users. That’s why the cost of the internet provision in Nigeria is very high. But at the same time, every operator must find a way of reducing the cost. We have been able to look into different creative ways of arresting this. We have been able to ensure that the equipment used is low power consumption.  This is how we are managing the situation. The power generation in Nigeria needs to improve. If it improves it will change many things. I can even cut about 50 per cent of my cost and will also affect the end-users positively.

What are the other services of Bitflux Communications?

Bitflux is a wholesale provider. We have wireless access services and we have been able to help the operators. Fibre cannot get to everywhere. That is where wireless comes in. This is why we have wireless services where fibre cannot penetrate or is not working. We will have wireless service. This is one of the things we are doing.

We are also rolling out 4G operation. We have many operators that are currently running their 4G on our infrastructure. We have been able to carve out separate infrastructure for this kind of operators which is very attractive to many of the operators, which means that you can roll out your 4G operations to the public without necessarily spending lots of money. So we have already taken care of all of those things.

We also have data centre, cloud computing. We have sorted our communication end for the market, so that the market can easily connect with our infrastructure solution platform, and currently we are working with schools, organisations, and religious bodies. We are making connectivity available and possible for them so that they can have a good content.

What is the core value Bitflux should be known for?

Our core value is to satisfy our customers, which is what we have built within our system. We always ensure that our uptime is uptime. We are always working to satisfy our customers. We have combined integrity and excellence in our service delivery into our core value.  All of this is with the purpose of making our customers happy. We believe that customers do advocate for clients because of what they see and the kind of service we have rendered to them. The essence of this is to build a sustainable process. This is what maintains a good customer relationship.

How can we tame the menace of cybercrime in the country?

One of the things we need to do is to safeguard IT and ensure its security in the creation of a core process and laws and its implementation. This is one of the things we are helping our clients to do. The process entails software implementation that can be done from the operators’ ends from us or even from the end-users that will prevent devices from accessing sites that they should not access.

There’s also cyber bowling, which means that monitoring and setting necessary tools. There should also be a way of reporting cybercrime so that when it happens, the people can report safely. The federal government must be able to come up with this approach, which will make the people to report cyber security threats safely; and government would be able to enforce what I call standard and behaviour. Government must make a law and enforce the law to curb cybercrime.

 

The degree of co-location will increase with time. Ten years ago, telecoms are aspiring to have a tower but today there are organisations that are providing that as a service. For instance, if I have a tower, I can have five operators on the tower. With wireless, one can have about five operators. This sharing concept is going to continue for a long time. But in Nigeria, though in years past, we are lacking some right policies that will compliment and drive infrastructure, now government is coming with policies that will help IT infrastructure.

You have been shortlisted by the stakeholders as one of the top CEOs in 2018 due to your impact of over 30 years in the sector

I am glad about this. My major job is to make customers happy. It’s a pleasure that people are recognising this and I see myself as a chief servant officer. I measure my acceptance in the market by the satisfaction of my customers. To be nominated for such a thing is to say that you can help us more. It’s a responsibility. This is why I tagged myself as the Chief Errant Officer (CEO).  The task of the work is to serve the people and when this is done you will be fulfilled. When my customers are happy then we can all be happy.

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