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NCAA Begins Demolition Of Masts

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Following expiration of  ultimatum to telecommunication companies and some financial institutions, to regularise their masts, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said yesterday that it would commence demolition of telecommunication masts in different locations.

In an official statement issued yesterday and signed by the general manager, Public Relations, Sam Adurogoye, the agency stated that the demolition exercise would similarly affect some banks and financial institutions that  have discountenanced the regulatory requirements on the clearance to erect any high structure within the navigable airspace in Nigeria.

According to NCAA, the regulatory authority was left with no choice as the 30 – day ultimatum given to those telecommunication service providers has expired. Prior to the expiration of the ultimatum, letters of reminder were written to all affected organisations to obtain Aviation Height Clearance (AHC) for their masts.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had earlier warned all Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) providers and telecom operators against violation of safety regulations. A 30-day ultimatum was therefore handed down for compliance.

“This is derived from the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (NigCARS) Part 12.1.7.1.3.1 which stipulates that no person or organisation shall put up a structure (permanent or temporary) within the navigable airspace of Nigeria unless such a person or organisation is a holder of Aviation Height Clearance Certificate granted under this regulation,” NCAA stated.

It stated further that “in line with this, the regulatory authority requires an Aviation Height Clearance (AHC) approval for every tower installation in the country irrespective of the height and location.

“It should therefore be noted 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.

“While some of the providers and operators have since commenced regularisation of their masts, others have failed to do the same,” NCAA noted. “The telecommunication operators who have not regularised their masts are as follows: Globacom Nigeria 7,012 masts, United Bank of Africa 439 masts, Guaranty Trust Bank 295 masts, Unity Bank 217 masts and Sterling Bank 159 masts.

“Others are Union Bank 92 masts, First City Monument Bank 205 masts, Fidelity Bank 83 masts and Access Bank 303 masts. “Therefore, a total of 8,805 masts belonging to the aforementioned organisations will be decommissioned forthwith,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Association of Licenced Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), have alleged that NCAA was trying to regulate the telecommunications industry and impose multiple taxation on mobile network operators which is illegal and unjust.

Executive secretary of ALTON, Gbolahan Awonuga, in a telephone chat with LEADERSHIP on the development, disclosed that when NCAA raised the issue, “We visited them and it was agreed that a working committee should be set up. They asked for the names of our members, which we wrote and gave them.

“We have been waiting for them to call us to constitute the working committee only for them to now say they want to demolish masts. Let them go ahead. They can only demolish masts that are on the runway or in their premises. How many masts do we have in the telecom industry that they want to demolish 7,000 masts? They want to cripple the telecom industry the same way they crippled the aviation industry”.

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