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Monday, March 16, 2009

LASIMRA pledges to safeguard telcos facilities

The Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA), has pledged to safeguard telecommunications facilities in its environs, especially as road reconstruction advances on Ozumba Mbadiwe and Lekki axis.

General Manager, LASIMRA, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, gave this assurance at a stakeholders’ forum held in Lagos, last week, saying that his agency is keen at ensuring that underground cables and other facilities belonging to telcos, during the ongoing road construction are not damaged, so as not to disrupt service to Lagosians.

Thus, he allayed the fears of telecom operators who had before now suffered series of damages of underground telecom cables caused by contractors handling road construction in Lagos.

Equally speaking at the forum, Managing Director, Lekki Concession Company (LCC), the company handling the aforementioned axis, Mr. Opuiyo Oforiokuma, apologised to operators whose facilities were inadvertently affected and urged them to cooperate with the company by offering useful suggestions on how best to collaborate in order to part of the efforts by the state government to make a better Lagos mega city.

Participants as the forum resolved that LCC should always circulate its work schedules to operators in advance, in order to make room for the harmonization of the work programmes of both parties involved.

In furtherance to end such conflicts, the forum agreed that trial pits should be deployed at intervals of five meters of new project channels.

A communiqué at the end of the forum, showed that apart from deploying trial pits, the operators advised LASIMRA to ensure that contractors handling road construction projects, like LCC receive proper briefing on the depth of trial pits and pipelines of gas, petrol, and water, before carrying out any construction work at site.

This, they argued, will help contractors avoid using bulldozer in piercing underground pipelines, as was the case of Ijegun pipeline disaster, where lives and properties were lost to an inferno caused by petrol pipeline explosion during road construction last year.

The forum specially addressed the alleged willful damage to telecom cables and facilities along Lekki – Epe axis by LCC during project execution.

The forum was attended by representatives of Lekki Concession Company (LCC), the company handling the Ozumba Mbadiwe-Lekki road, and telecom companies included MTN, Globacom, Zain, among others.

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