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NCAA set to demolish 8,805 telecoms, bank masts

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Tuesday said it will commence demolition of telecommunication masts of Globacom Nigeria Limited in different locations within Nigeria immediately.

This demolition exercise will similarly affect some banks and financial institutions which discountenanced the Authority’s regulatory requirements on clearance to erect any high structure within the navigable airspace in Nigeria.

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Spokesman of the NCAA, Mr. Sam Adurogboye, said the regulatory authority is left with no choice as the 30–day ultimatum given to the telecommunication service providers involved has expired.

Prior to the expiration of the ultimatum, letters of reminder were written to all affected organisations to obtain Aviation Height Clearance (AHC) for their masts.

It will be recalled that, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had earlier warned all Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) providers and telecomm operators against violation of safety regulations.

A 30-day ultimatum was therefore handed down for compliance.

This is derived from the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (NigCARS) Part 12.1.7.1.3.1 which 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.’

In line with this, the regulatory authority requires an Aviation Height Clearance (AHC) approval for every tower installation in the country irrespective of the height and location.

It should therefore be noted that 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.

It said while some of the providers and operators have since commenced regularisation of their masts, others have failed to do so.

The authority listed the telecommunication operators who have not regularised their masts to include Globacom Nigeria (7,012 masts), United Bank of Africa (439 masts), Guaranty Trust Bank (295 masts), Unity Bank (217 masts) and Sterling Bank (159 masts).

Others are Union Bank (92 masts), First City Monument Bank (205 masts), Fidelity Bank (83 masts) and Access Bank (303 masts).

Therefore, a total of 8,805 masts belonging to the aforementioned organisations will be decommissioned forthwith.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) wishes to reiterate that it will continue to apply requisite sanctions for violation of extant regulations especially, where the resolve of the Authority is tested.

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