Just in: Border towns telecoms go off as Customs no-fuel-discharge order stays
The leadership of Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) Friday evening raised an alarm of urgent national security importance, saying telecoms services across the over 150 border communities in Nigeria’s 21 Border States are going down gradually since today.
Business Hilights recalls that the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) had on Wednesday, November 6, issued an order to all border commands banning discharge of any petroleum product to filling stations within 20kms to the border as a measure to tame border trafficking and smuggling of petroleum products.
However, less than few hours after the Customs order, ALTON swiftly reacted by notifying the Federal Government on the telecoms implications of the order which includes going off of masts and Base transceiver Stations (BTSs) within the same range of 20kms to the border.
ALTON made it clear that should the Customs order stays, it means that within days when available fuel would finish, several border communities’ and business activities within the axis using telecoms networks would be cut off.
In a terse statement Friday, November 22, 2019, signed by ALTON Head, Operations, Mr. Gbolahan Awonuga, the umbrella body of telecoms networks and service providers said as follows: “Please be informed that our members have not received any intervention from the Federal Government in order to discharge fuel to the BTS sites around border town.
“Our members’ diesel trucks on legitimate duties were impounded by the Customs officials and due to inability to supply fuel, some of the cell sites are already shutting down for lack of diesel.
“We appeal to the government to grant our members permit to deliver fuel to their various sites.
“Please be informed that any network downtime in the border towns is not necessarily the fault of the service providers but as a result of embargo placed on supply of fuel,” ALTON averred.