Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Showdown looms with ONSA over shut of 9mobile by River State - ITREALMS Online

The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and Rivers State Government may be gearing up for a showdown following the violation of ONSA directive that no government agency should seal any Base Transceiver Station (BTS) site as they are designated Critical National Infrastructure, reports ITRealms.

Base Transceiver Station (BTS) denotes a base station in Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication terminology and which consists of an antenna and the radio equipment.
Rivers State through its Inland Revenue Service (RIRS) allegedly shut a regional office and hub site of 9mobile in the state since June 26, 2018.

ITRealms reports that the shutdown is in clear violation of ONSA recent directive by RIRS in sealing 9Mobile Premises where a Critical Site is also situated, which has become inaccessible with the attendant security implications.

Also, ITRealms reports that EMTS has suffered incalculable financial loss as the sales outlet which is within the premises has remained closed, preventing it from serving its esteemed customers.

Additionally, ITRealms gathered,  EMTS suffered severe reputational damage from the bold display of the sealing order on EMTS premises, creating the perception that EMTS is a tax defaulter, whereas EMTS employees have suffered untold hardship due to this wanton act, as its employees have been unable to resume at their duty posts for over two weeks.  

Reacting to this development, the umbrella body of telecom operators in the country, the Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), also berated the sealing of 9mobile office.

According to ALTON in a letter to the chairman of RIRS sighted by ITRealms and endorsed by both its chairman, Gbenga Adebayo, and Executive Secretary, Kazeem Oladepo, “All entreaties to meet with the RIRS for a reconciliation was rebuffed; rather, the RIRS has compelled EMTS to make a payment of 30 per cent of the alleged sum amounting to N32,387,561.088 as a pre-condition to unsealing EMTS regional office.

“EMTS has been severely prejudiced by the refusal of the RIRS to give EMTS an opportunity for a Reconciliation Meeting, despite several requests for the same,” ALTON lamented.

Further, ALTON requested RIRS and the State Government to desist from any acts inimical to the normal operations of its members in the State and to unseal EMTS Premises immediately to enable it to continue its operations to offer Rivers State its usual world class services, while granting EMTS audience for a reconciliation meeting at which the matter is expected to be finally resolved.

The ALTON letter was also copied to the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the National Security Adviser, (NSA), Minister of Finance, Minister of Trade & Industry and Secretary, Joint Task Board (JTB).

Chuks Egbune/GEE
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Pix: National Security Adviser, Babagana Mongonu and Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.

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