An Environment Consultant, Mr Sulaiman Daudu, has cautioned telecommunications operators against violation of environmental standards in Nigeria.
The warning followed National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) misunderstanding with the National Communications Commission (NCC) over an MTN base station in EFAB Estate, Mbora District in the FCT.
NESREA had earlier sealed-off the base station for not meeting the environmental requirement of 10 metres distance from residential homes.
NCC, on the other hand unsealed the station, insisting that it had the sole mandate to regulate telecom industry and not NESREA, adding that NESREA had encroached in to its operational territory.
Daudu, who gave the warning yesterday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, advised the NCC against misinterpretation of its constitutional mandate.
He added that the constitutional responsibilities of NESREA and NCC were unambiguous.
``There is no doubt that the NCC is solely set up to supervise and regulate matters concerning the telecommunication sector in Nigeria.
``What is in doubt is whether the NCC has satisfactorily executed its task, as NESREA has done what it ought to have done as its constitutional mandate.
According to him, residents of EFAB Estate have been complaining since 2009 about an MTN base station erected dangerously close to some houses.
``From our investigations, the base station fell far short of all health expectations, not to even mention environmental regulations.
``It did not meet the required standard of 10 metres distance from residential building and has no Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report.
Daudu announced that the facility in question was not captured in the recent nationwide environmental audit of base stations carried out by NESREA, confirming the contempt with which the operators treat their customers.
He commended the NESREA Director-General, Dr Ngeri Benebo, ``who stood her ground that the station be sealed to ensure an environmentally sustainable practice at base stations across the country.’’
The director-general had earlier warned that any practice that would not take human consideration into practice would not be condoned, adding that ``the economic consideration must not override our health and safety conditions.’’