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Telcos claim suspension of fuel supply to border areas will impact services


Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators (ALTON)

The directive by the by Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), to suspend the supply of petroleum products to filling stations within 20km of all border areas, could crumble telecoms operations in the country with serious adverse effect on service quality, telecoms operators have warned.

Speaking through the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), the body called for a review of the directive.

Chairman of ALTON, Gbenga Adebayo, explained that due to the directive, trucks that supply diesel to all telecoms sites and base transceiver stations (Base Stations) around the border areas were denied passage to reload telecoms sites.

Adebayo warned that if the directive was not reversed immediately, it could lead to shutdown of telecoms sites that are also linked to other telecoms sites in the area, and would eventually lead to disruption of telecoms services in Nigeria.

ALTON therefore called on telecoms regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and the Federal Government, to urgently intervene to avoid breakdown of services in the country.

In a letter dated November 8, 2019, addressed to the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, the ALTON Chairman raised the implications of the Customs directive and called for quick intervention of the NCC.

In the letter, Adebayo said: “So far, the Nigeria Customs Service has stopped our members’ trucks in Kebbi, Kano, and Calabar from supplying diesel to the telecoms sites within the border areas, which may lead to total shut down of Communications systems and services, and by implication worsen the security operations within those areas.

“We urgently request the immediate intervention of the NCC and the federal government because by midday of November 9, major hub sites carrying heavy traffic will be shut down due to lack of diesel.”


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ALTONGbenga Adebayo
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