Nigeria could face an imminent disruption in its telecommunication services as the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) says it has commenced the demolition of 7,012 telecommunication masts belonging to Globacom Nigeria Limited in different locations in Nigeria.
According to a statement signed by the General Manager, Public Relations, Sam Adurogboye, the demolition exercise will similarly affect some banks and financial institutions who have discountenanced the NCAA regulatory requirements on the clearance to erect any high structure within the navigable airspace in Nigeria.
The exercise, the NCAA explained, comes following the expiration of the 30-day ultimatum issued to telecommunications service providers to obtain Aviation Height Clearance (AHC) for their masts and ensure they were not posing threats to safe flight operations.
This is derived from the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (NigCARS) Part 18.104.22.168.3.1 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.
The NCAA listed the telecommunication operators who have not regularised their masts as Globacom Nigeria 7,012 masts, Guaranty Trust Bank 295 masts, Unity Bank 217 masts, and Sterling Bank 159 masts.
Others are Union Bank with 92 masts, First City Monument Bank with 205 masts, Fidelity Bank with 83 masts, Access Bank with 303 masts and others.
According to the statement, a total of 8,805 masts belonging to the aforementioned organisations would be decommissioned immediately as they were erected in clear breach of civil aviation regulations.
The NCAA while explaining its action said it was left with no choice as the 30-day ultimatum given to those telecommunication service providers had expired without them taking actions to legalise the masts.
It would be recalled that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had earlier warned all Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) providers and telecomm operators against violation of safety regulations by erecting masts along ‘flight paths’ of aircraft.
A 30-day ultimatum was therefore handed down for compliance.
While some of the providers and operators have since commenced regularisation of their masts, others have failed to do same, the NCAA said.