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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

ALTON @20: Cautions on hate speech, set to celebrate members - ITREALMS

All is now set for the 20th anniversary and award ceremony of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) billed for this Friday in Lagos, reports ITREALMS.

This is coming as ALTON warned top government officials overt hate speech against telecom operators, which is capable of causing civil unrest and vandalisation of telecommunications.

ALTON chairman, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo made this known in Lagos while speaking with ITREALMS on the 20th anniversary celebration.

He said, ALTON has impacted on the national socio—economic development of the country, and applauded Nigeria ICT Media for their support over the last 20 years and for telling the good story about the sector.

He also used the opportunity to clarify the rumour making a round in the industry that ALTON was a subset of anybody before now.

“We were never a subsidiary of any group of association and neither were we at any point in time a sub-set of another association,” he declared.

Adebayo pointed out that ALTON was formed in 1999, then known as the National Association of Telecom Operators (NALTO) and incorporated in the year 2000 as the Association Of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) a corporate body, duly registered under the laws of Federal Republic of Nigeria as an Incorporated Trustee, and officially recognized by the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and other regulatory agencies as the industry body for all providers of telecommunications and subsidiary services in Nigeria.

He insisted "We were never a subsidiary of any group of Association."

Emphasising that ALTON founding fathers, some of who are still with alive, constituted the association to address the peculiar early challenges faced by Private Telecom Operators (PTO) as they were called at the time, some of these were issues of signaling protocol issues, interconnectivity, billing issues, multiple regulation and taxation issues of right of way and protection of the overall interest of private investors in the sector, which at the time, NITEL the incumbent did everything possible to frustrate their existence.

Membership of ALTON, he told ITREALMS, includes all the major telecommunications licensees in Nigeria, particularly Mobile Network Operators (MNO) Infrastructure Companies (Infrocos) Fixed and Mobile Fixed voice and data operators across the various segments are all members of ALTON.

"Since inception, ALTON continues to play a key role in market development of the telecommunications industry. Its intervention on behalf of members on several issues such as challenges of multiple taxation, multiple regulations, rates and tariff determination, market competition, unfavorable government policies, Telecommunications as Critical National Infrastructure has been of immense benefit to the Nigerian telecommunications industry at large," he said.

ITREALMS reported that he paid special tribute to the first batch of board of trustees and executive members including Late General Tanko Ayuba Rtd, Chief Adebayo Akande, Chief Ezekiel Fatoye, Chief Mike Adenuga, Mrs. Alero Nwanna, Late Engr. Alaba Charles Joseph, Mrs. Arnina Oyagbola, Mr. Chandon Kelwal Ramani, Alhaji Bashir El-Rufai, Chief Maan Lababidi, Mr. Albert Mashi, Late Mr. Chioke Ogugua, Engr. Adamu M. Yahaya Treasurers | Chairman, Technical, late Mr. Chioke Ogugua Chairman, Legal/Regulatory, Engr. Bayo Banjo Chairman, Commercial/Finance, and Mr. Rueben Muoka Chairman, Publicity/Events.

Chuks Egbuna/Editor

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