NCC warns states to stop shutting down telecoms facilities
The commission made the call yesterday at the South West Sector Stakeholders’ Parliament with Relevant Agencies in Charge of Telecommunications Matters at Best Western Plus Hotel, Iyaganku, Ibadan, Oyo State.
Speaking at the forum, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, maintained that the habit of shutting down stations must stop, saying rather that the infrastructure must be protected.
Represented by the director of Legal and Regulatory Services, Mrs. Yetunde Akinloye, the EVC urged state governments to devise other means of dealing with issues of tax collection on telecoms infrastructure.
The warning might not be unconnected with recent reports that Kogi State government shut down 150 telecoms base stations in the state over tax issues.
But the Kogi State Internal Revenue Service (KGIRS) has said that it shut down only nine Base Transmission Stations (BTS), not 150 as insinuated.
It explained that the said operation affected base stations of MTN and Airtel based on adherent to court orders.
The action, The Guardian learnt, is affecting the security architecture, the banking sector and even the general public in the state, as telecoms services remained epileptic.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government is set to establish two extra satellites to support the Nigeria Communication Satellite (NIGCOMSAT).
The Minister of Communication, Dr. Adebayo Shittu, who spoke yesterday at the 6th ‘Regular Meeting’ of the National Council on Communication Technology (NCCT) in Abeokuta, said that the objective was to boost the telecommunications industry in the country.
According to him, the federal government is committed to use Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) as one of the major means to diversify the economy.