NCAA Threatens to Demolish Telcos Masts Nationwide Over N5.9bn Debt

October 18, 2021

THE Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has threatened to start dismantling some telecommunication masts belonging to telecommunication companies, especially Globacom Limited in various locations across the country over failure for the network provider to pay N5.9billion renewal fees for aviation height clearance to the agency.

A directive from the Nigerian government to some of its agencies and parastatals to go after debtors and defaulters and recover all the outstanding debts owed may have spurred NCAA.
NCAA in a statement claimed that it had severally written to Globacom for the payment for the debts but the network provider did not show any indication of willingness to pay the remaining debts.

NCAA further alleged that it wrote Globacom on July 14, 2021, accusing the network provider of refusing to renew expired aviation height clearance certificate.

In a letter dated October 4, 2021, titled: “Re: Illegal Erection of High Structures and Refusal to Renew Expired Aviation Height Clearance Certificates by Globacom Limited,” and addressed to the Managing Director, Globacom, obtained by THISDAY, NCAA threatened that following the failure by Globacom to pay the required fees amounting to N5.9 billion, the regulatory agency had no choice but to commence the dismantling of the its masts across the country without further notice.

“In the circumstance, having exhausted all avenues for a resolution of this matter, we are now left without choice but to apply the relevant sanctions, including the dismantling of all your non-compliant masts nationwide. And this shall be without further notice to you, “it said.
The letter, which was signed by Legal Adviser/Head, Compliance and Enforcement, Mr. Emmanuel Chukwuma, reminded Globacom that the meeting to discuss the above subject matter, was fixed for September 23, 2021, at the instance of Globacome but it failed to show up.

“You may wish to recall that you had on August, 25, 2021, requested that the meeting, earlier rescheduled, at your instance, from Monday, July 26, 2021 to Thursday, August 26, 2021, be further rescheduled to Thursday, September 23, 2021, to enable your Chief Operating Officer/COO to attend.

“It is unfortunate that despite our concurrence to a further rescheduling of the meeting to the requested date, and so informing you through our letter of 13th September, 2021, you failed to turn up for the meeting”, it said.

The letter noted that the Director- General of the NCAA had to abort an official assignment in Europe and return to Nigeria in order to be able to attend the meeting.

“Globacom only wrote the letter under reference three days after, asking that the meeting be rescheduled, without any explanation for the failure of any management staff to show up.
“I am directed to inform you that the NCAA is not disposed to granting this latest (fourth) request to reschedule the meeting, particularly, as no reason was given for your non-attendance on the last date.

“In the circumstance, having exhausted all avenues for a resolution of this matter, we are now left without choice but to apply the relevant sanctions including the dismantling of all your non-compliant masts nationwide. And this shall be without further notice to you, “it said.

In an earlier communication with Globacom, NCAA listed the indebtedness of Globacom to include application fee for 2006 to 2007 at N100, 000 per mast, totalling N689,800,000, annual renewal fee for 2007-2022 (15 years), N50,000 per mast amounting to N6,898 and inspection fee covering 6,898 masts across the nation all totalling N6,064,230,000.
NCAA source said Globacom paid the sum of N100 million on July 31, 2019 and had not made any further payment.

An earlier letter from NCCA to Global said total application fee for the period under review stood at N604, 800,000 while cost of inspection amounted to N190, 930,000.
The letter also stated the position of NCAA in law with regards to regulation of masts.

“Please be reminded that Section 30(3)() of the Civil Aviation Act 2006 empowers the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) by law to prohibit and regulate the installation of any structure (including telecommunication mast), which by virtue of its ‘height or position is considered to endanger the safety of air navigation, “it said.

Two years ago NCAA asked telcos to remove their over 7,000 masts or risk seeing them demolished.
NCAA had claimed the masts, erected at different locations within the country were located at the flight part and might obstruct flight safety through disruption in ground to air communication between air traffic controllers and pilots and others.

Spokesman of NCAA, Sam Adurogboye, told THISDAY that out of the telcos that operate in the country, it is only Globacom that has not shown positive indication to acquiesce to the request of NCAA.

“The response by the telcos differ; some have fully paid, some have made certain degree of compliance, but we have not bee getting positive response from Globacom; just little payment they made, ”he said.

Air Peace Gets Safety Performance Award
Nigeria’s major carrier, Air Peace, has been recognised with the Distinguished Safety Performance Award by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in Kaduna.

The award presented by the Kaduna Airport Manager and Chairperson, Airport Safety Committee, Kaduna International Airport, Mrs. Amina Ozi-Salami (DGM), was in recognition of Air Peace’s consistent commitment to safety with records of zero accident/serious incident at the Kaduna International Airport.

In a reaction, the Spokesperson of the airline, Stanley Olisa, expressed gratitude to the airport authorities for the award, adding that it further accentuates the airline’s unwavering stance on 100 percent safety compliance in line with established global standards.

“We shall continue to ensure full adherence to all safety codes as required by the industry regulatory bodies while providing Nigerians with more seamless connectivity and more investment in brand new aircraft to offer them a superior travel experience, ”Olisa stated.

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