By Samson Echenim
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) says it will commence the immediate demolition of 8,805 telecommunication masts belonging to Nigeria’s indigenous telecom giant, Globacom Nigeria Limited and some commercial banks.
The aviation technical regulator said the telecommunication operator and the banks failed to “regularity their masts”.
Out of the number of masts marked for demolition, 7,012 belong to Globacom, 439 belong to United Bank of Africa, Guaranty Trust Bank owns 295 masts, while Unity Bank and Sterling Bank own 217 and 159 masts respectively.
Others are Access Bank, 303 masts, Union Bank, 92, First City Monument Bank, 205 and Fidelity Bank 83 masts.
NCAA had given the affected institutions a 30-day ultimatum to comply with the regularisation of their infrastructure, but the agency said they “discountenanced the authority’s regulatory requirements on the clearance to erect any high structure within the navigable airspace in Nigeria.”
NCAA’s spokesman, Sam Adurogboye said the aviation regulator had earlier warned all Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) providers and telecom operators against violation of safety regulations.
According to the NCAA spokesman, the regulatory authority is left with no choice as the 30 – day ultimatum given to those telecommunication service providers has lapsed ,noting that 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.
Adurogboye said: “This is derived from the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (NigCARS) Part 22.214.171.124.3.1 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.
”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.”
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.
Adurogboye said while some of the providers and operators have since commenced regularisation of their masts, others have failed to do same.