By Samson Echenim
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has directed telecommunications companies operating in the country to remove or rehabilitate their abandoned towers and masts or face having the commission remove them and then withdraw the licences of defaulting telcos.
NCC in a statement by Henry Nkemadu, director, Public Affairs, listed 693 abandoned towers located in different places across the country.
The commission issued Guidelines on Technical Specifications for the Installation of Telecommunications Masts and Towers in 2009 to provide for various issues, including the appropriate maintenance of telecommunications masts and towers.
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NCC said in line with the provision of the guidelines, it had given owners of the 693 abandoned masts and towers notice to rehabilitate, commence usage or dismantle and remove the masts/towers from the relevant locations within 90 days of the publication of the notice. The notice was published August 9, 2019.
“Please note that, where there is a failure to comply with this directive, the commission shall exercise its regulatory mandate by taking necessary steps to decommission/dismantle the relevant abandoned masts/towers. Affected licensees will also be required to reimburse the commission for expenses in this regard, in addition to the payment of a fine as provided in Chapter 5 (4)(d) of the guidelines,” NCC said.