|(from left) Michael Nelson, Nana Addae-Mensah, Ebenezer Amankwah|
Vodafone Ghana says it loses about GH¢1.8million annually to cable theft which interrupts the company’s voice and data services in Ghana.
Nana Addae- Mensah, Corporate Security Manager, commenting on the matter, said the money spent to fix cable cuts could be used for service improvement to satisfy customers.
Mr Addae-Mensah, who was speaking to journalists on Monday at a press briefing in Accra, noted that Vodafone Ghana had fixed underground cables that carried about 2,500 smaller cables.
About 40 percent of the telecommunications provider’s underground cables are vulnerable.
“Whenever there is an interruption, we need to notify the regulator that is National Communications Authority (NCA) on the number of cuts that has occurred and the number of customers who have been affected. There is a timeframe which we have to get it fixed. If we are unable to meet that deadline, we need to notify the NCA and tell them why we were unable to fix that particular issue,” he stated.
He disclosed that most of the thieves cut through the cables, pull them out of the chamber, burn off the insulation to access the copper and then sell them on the market to scrap dealers for export.
“We don’t produce copper as a nation but somehow some ways we are exporting copper. Where is the copper coming from if not from our cables?” Mr Addae -Mensah quizzed.
Cable theft is an offence punishable by law. If found guilty one stands to be jailed between 5 and15 years.
Vodafone has issued a permitting system that allows private contractors, who work for the company to provide their permit on demand to the police or the general public.
“There are certain things that we are doing internally like issuing permits to contractors who do some of our engineering works. A copy of that permit is kept by the contractor and he should be able to produce it on demand,” he said.
Nana Addae- Mensah urged Ghanaians to call 155 or the police anytime they suspect any body of stealing cables in their neighborhood.