Telecoms operators blast NCAA over plan to demolish 7000 masts

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By Olusola Adeoye

Telecommunications operators have blasted the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) over its threat to demolish about 7000 mast, largely owned by Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) service providers in the country.

The operators declared that any site brought down illegally and without due consultation will not be rebuilt and the consequences will be felt by all.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), on Tuesday, issued a 30-day ultimatum to owners and operators of unlicensed masts and towers around airports nationwide to either comply with the rules or face demolition.

NCAA, at a parley in February, had warned telecoms operators and owners of high-rise structure around airports to remit their outstanding debts to the body or face sanctions.

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Speaking under the aegis of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), the service providers described the move as another way to impose unwarranted taxes on the sector, which is already over burdened by multiple taxation from governments and its agencies.

ALTON Chairman, Gbenga Adebayo, speaking on the sideline of the telecom industry discourse on OTT, a forum organized by Vanguard Newspapers in Lagos, today (Wednesday) said the sector has become subject of attack from every angle.

Adebayo was, however, quick to say that the country has forgotten that telecoms remains infrastructure of infrastructure because other sectors including aviation, banking, health, transport rely on ICT to drive their operations, “which when attacked, the economy and the people will feel the impact negatively. Blackout becomes imminent.”

The ALTON chairman also carpeted the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for faulting SIM registration done by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).

Adebayo said NCC would still need to do more explanations because “operators duly followed the procedures, standards and protocols handed the operators at the commencement of the exercise some eight years back.”

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