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Chances of pulling down well over 8,000 telecommunication masts and towers are imminent should Main Network Operators (MNOs) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) fail to comply with the statutory Aviation Height Clearance (AHC) of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) within 30 days from now.
Handing down the ultimatum, the Aviation regulator said Under the Civil Aviation Act, 2006, Section 30(3)(1), the NCAA is empowered to prohibit and regulate the installation of any structure which by virtue of its height or position is considered to endanger the safety of air navigation.
Accordingly, MNOs are expected to comply to the ultimatum by obtaining the statutory Aviation Height Clearance (AHC) as a clearance to the safety of air navigation and flight operations across Nigeria.
NCAA added that the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs) Part 220.127.116.11.3.1 stipulates that No person or organisation shall put up a structure (permanent or temporary) within the navigable airspace of Nigeria unless such a person or organisation is a holder of Aviation Height Clearance Certificate granted under this Regulation.
This particular provision mandates every mast or tower, no matter where is erected to possess Aviation Height Clearance (AHC) approval for every tower installation irrespective of the height and location.
Though several MNOs are yet to respond, telecoms industry stakeholders’ who barred their minds on the development saw it as another form of multiple taxation which the industry had been suffering.
Recall that before now, the chairman of Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Engr Gbenga Adebayo had revealed that the sector had been facing over 38 forms of taxes and the scenario had remained a serious factor hobbling further investments in the sector which would have improved on Quality of Service.
Efforts to reach the leadership of the NCC failed as the Commission is yet to appoint a substantive Director of Corporate Affairs who officially reacts to issues of public importance.
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