The demolition of masts and high structures belonging to telecommunication companies and commercial banks will begin with immediate effect, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has declared. This comes after the 30-day ultimatum given by NCCA elapsed.
The demolition exercise will affect the following:
- The 7,012 masts owned by Globacom Nigeria,
- 439 masts belonging to United Bank of Africa,
- Guaranty Trust Bank‘s 295 masts,
- Unity Bank‘s 217 masts
- Sterling Bank‘s 159 masts.
- Union Bank‘s 92 masts
- First City Monument Bank‘s 205 masts
- Fidelity Bank‘s 83 masts
- Access Bank‘s 303 masts.
The NCAA had threatened to pull down 8,805 masts and towers across the country over Aviation Height Clearance (AHC). The NCAA regulations stipulated that no person or organisation should put up a structure (permanent or temporary) within the navigable airspace of Nigeria unless such a person or organisation is a holder of THE AHC.
Recall that the threat to demolish was not well received by the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), who warned that network operators will not rebuild any mast that gets demolished without consulting the association of telecoms operators. The NCAA had earlier stated that several letters and entreaties were sent to the GSM providers but were not responded to despite being duly received/acknowledged by the relevant executives.
In the statement announcing the demolition, NCAA said some of the providers and operators have begun the regularisation processes for their masts. Others, however, have failed to do the same.
AVIATION HEIGHT CLEARANCE…..
NCAA BEGINS DEMOLITION OF TELECOMMS MASTS
…..30 DAYS ULTIMATUM LAPSES
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority will commence demolition of telecommunication masts of Globacom Nigeria Limited. please read herehttps://t.co/EvF7KRZfOJ pic.twitter.com/dIkZhiHUcd
— Nigerian CAA (@NigerianCAA) June 18, 2019
Why some companies are not yielding: Nairametrics had reported that ALTON accused NCAA of trying to enforce a new tax on telecoms operators by threatening to demolish their masts if AHC is not obtained. The association’s grievance is that said that despite the multiple taxations already imposed on telcos, regulators are weighing other methods of taxing the network operators more.
The Chairman of ALTON, 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.”
Note that under the Civil Aviation Act. 2006, section 30 (3) (1), the NCAA is empowered to prohibit and regulate the installation of any structure which by virtue of its height or position is considered to endanger the safety of air navigation.
Requisite sanctions for violation of extant regulations will continue to be applied, especially where the resolve of the Authority is tested, NCAA said in the statement.