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Insecurity imminent as MNOs may shutdown masts close to borders
Indication that the recent ban placed by Nigerian Customs disallowing petroleum product to be delivered to any filling station within 20 kilometers radius to any border area in Nigeria was, otherwise, poorly though out has emerged.
Apart from the fact the Customs directives failed to realize that the affected fillings stations near the borders got approval from the same government it serves, the leadership of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), has raised alarm, saying at the moment Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) and masts within same range near the border run out of fuel, they would be shut down.
Analysts say Customs directive was not only counterproductive, but was done without any form of consultation with the telecoms regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and other relevant government agency.
Besides, Customs will also suffer border systems failure as the shutdown of telecoms networks will collapse digital aspects of their revenue collection after all.
In an SOS petition to the NCC co-signed by Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, chairman and Gbolahan Awonuga, Head, Operations, ALTON said in parts:
“Attention: Professor Umar Danbatta – Executive Vice Chairman
“RE: SUSPENSION OF PETROLEUM PRODUCTS SUPPLY TO THE FILLING STATION WITHIN 20 KILOMETERS TO ALL BORDERS: REQUEST FOR URGENT INTERVENTION.
“Following the directives by the Nigeria Customs Service in a circular dated Wednesday 06th
November, 2019, directed all customs zonal coordinators not to allow petroleum product to be delivered to any filling stations within 20 kilometers radius to any border area in Nigeria. Please find attached the circular.
“The directive is already having huge negative impact on our members’ operations and this may be significant if the necessary agencies of government do not urgently intervene in the situation.
“So far the Nigeria Customs Service have stopped our members’ trucks in Kebbi, Kano and Calabar from supplying diesel to the telecommunications sites within the borders areas, which may lead to total shut down of communications system/services and by implications worsen the security operations within those areas.
“We hereby urgently request the immediate intervention of the Commission and the federal Government as by midday on Saturday, 9th November 2019, major hub sites carrying heavy traffic will be shut down due to lack of diesel.
“Please accept the assurances of our warm regards.
“For Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON).