Telecommunications operators in Nigeria have condemned the move by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to demolish about 7000 masts.
The telecoms operators said if NCAA goes ahead with the threat, the repercussion will be felt nationwide.
The telecoms operators who spoke through the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) said the operators will not rebuild the mast if demolished without consulting the association of telecoms operators.
Nairametrics had reported that NCAA issued a 30-day ultimatum to owners and operators to obtain Aviation Height Clearance (AHC) or risk having their masts pulled down.
Why NCAA wants to demolish masts: ALTON accused NCAA of trying to enforce new tax on the telecoms operators by threatening to demolish these masts if AHC isn’t obtained.
The association said despite the multiple taxation already imposed on the telecoms industry, regulators are weighing other methods of taxing the network operators more.
The ALTON Chairman, Gbenga Adebayo, said telecoms operators have been under numerous attacks, warning that if the telecoms industry is negatively impacted, the consequences will affect other sectors of the economy.
“When attacked, the economy and the people will feel the impact negatively. Blackout becomes imminent.”
Adebayo also condemned the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for faulting SIM registration done by Mobile Network Operators. Adebayo said there was no reason to sanction the telecoms operators because they followed procedures, standards and protocols.
“Operators duly followed the procedures, standards and protocols handed the operators at the commencement of the exercise some eight years back.”
In the meantime, network operators earmark $8.5bn to bridge telecommunication gap
To bridge the telecoms infrastructure gap in the country, Nigerian mobile network operators have earmarked $8.5 billion for investment purposes. The companies intend to invest this amount to meet the demand for telecommunication services across Nigeria.
The network operators will invest the $8.5 billion in the next two years to improve telecommunication services and expand their reach. This investment represents an increase of $1.6 billion over the past two years.