NCC resolves disputes over sealing of 47 BTS in Ogun
The outstanding issues, which have kept 47 base transceiver stations (BTS) under lock and key in Ogun State have been successfully resolved by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, revealed this development, after a closed door meeting with the state governor, Ibikunle Amosun in Abeokuta, recently. He, however, noted that the development would positively impact on the access to telecommunication services in the state.
According to The Guardian investigation, there are currently 30, 176 BTS, already outsourced by the service providers including MTN, Airtel and Etisalat to IHS, which recently acquired Helios Towers. Only Globacom appeared to be overseeing its towers itself.
At a media interaction in Lagos, co-founder and interim chief executive officer, IHS Nigeria, Mohamad Darwish, disclosed that building a base station will cost an operator an average of N40 million.
“Tower business is a highly capital-intensive one, as it cost an operator average of N40 million to build a base station and in a very difficult place, it could cost up to N50 million,” he said.
Danbatta expressed satisfaction with the assurances given by the governor in tackling the concerns of multiple taxations and right of way, which are among the non-technical factors conspiring to degrade quality of telecommunication services in the country.
“The assurances given by His Excellency is to ensure adherence to resolution of the National Economic Council on multiple taxation. We have heard him. Something is going to happen. There’s lot of excitement for infrastructure deployment in Ogun State,” he said.
A statement by NCC Head of Public Relations, Reuben Mouka, quoted Danbatta urging the governor to enlist his colleagues’ supports to ensure adherence to the provisions of NEC’s resolution, which takes care of the concerns of multiple taxations and Right of Way, among others.
“Indeed, Your Excellency, the resolution of the NEC of March 21, 2013 properly addressed the problems of multiple taxation, levies and charges on ICT infrastructure with a view to providing a lasting solution. Incidentally, these resolutions are largely honored more in the breach than in their observance hence the precarious situation has not changed,” he explained.
Responding, Governor Amosun commended Danbatta for what he described as his giant strides, since assuming the leadership of the commission.
The governor also stressed the significance of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for the development of the country, saying that his administration will key into these development for the benefit of the citizenry.
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