The telecoms operators have counseled the Nigeria Communication Commission, NCC, about the recent decision of the latter to demolish at least 693 mast towers that it wish to decommission.
The NCC had in a public announcement on its official websites notified that several telecommunication masts and towers have been abandoned in various parts of the country.
It says, “Failure to maintain these structures over long periods of time has resulted in their technical failure and constant vandalisation with negative consequences on public health and safety.
“In certain locations, it was observed that criminals took advantage of these abandoned structures to host illegal broadcast equipment for relaying subversive messages against the State.”
The Commission said it had that 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.
In line with the provision of the Guidelines, the NCC directed owners of the abandoned masts and towers to rehabilitate, commence usage or dismantle and remove the masts within 90 days of the publication of the notice.
Reacting to this, operators said it was not clear whether NCC has concluded this exercise as they have not publicly shared their intentions and status with all stakeholders.
“We highly recommend that NCC adopts these towers, using the funds under the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) to restore and secure these sites.
“The NCC should then carry out an asset disposal so that active operators in the industry have an opportunity to expand and extend their network using these facilities where viably warranted,” ATCON counseled.