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Thursday, March 31, 2022

Mobile operators give FG 7-day ultimatum to call Kogi, FCT to order - ITREALMS

ITREALMS ... making leadership SENSE with digital news!

Mobile Network Operators (MNO) under the aegis of the Association of License Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has given the Federal Government (FG) a seven-day ultimatum to call the Kogi State government and the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to order or face disruptions capable of affecting service delivery nationwide, reports 
ITREALMS.
ALTON press briefing - Sir Damian Udeh, Mrs Eno Udoma-Eniang, ALTON chairman, Engr Gbenga Adebayo, Head of Operation, Gbolahan Awonuga and rep from Glo
This follows the sealing of some telecom infrastructure and abduction of employees of telecom operating companies, especially in Kogi State.
ALTON said that after the 7-day ultimatum, they would not guarantee any quality telecom services which may affect all sectors of the economy including the security agencies.

ALTON chairman, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo told 

ITREALMS at a press briefing on Thursday at his office expressed concerns about some recent developments in the telecom sector necessitated the declaration of the 7-day ultimatum, which calls for urgent national attention.

This development, 
ITREALMS gathered include the seizure of cellular sites which would affect quality of service at FCT; high cost of energy which has paved the way for rising cost of service provision as well as safety of telecom workers.

ALTON also expressed concerns over the shutting down of telecommunications facilities in Kogi State because of disputes arising from unusual taxes and levies demanded by the Kogi State Government through the Kogi State Internal Revenue Service (KIRS).

As said by ALTON chairman, the action by KIRS was hinged on an ex-parte court order obtained by the KIRS over unsubstantiated allegations that “our members are in default of tax payments to the state government, which is not the truth and access to these critical telecom sites have been denied.”

He pointed out that this issue is likely to lead to a total communications blackout in the entire Kogi State, parts of Abuja the Federal Capital Territory and possible impact on service availability in some parts of the following States: Nasarawa, Benue, Enugu, Anambra, Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, Kwara, Niger States. These are States sharing borders with Kogi State.

ALTON lamented that as a result of these actions by the Kogi State government, “our members are unable to refuel the power generators nor provide any support or maintenance services in these sites, a situation which has currently resulted in the outage of over 70 sites including hub sites across parts of Kogi State.”

The impact of these outages, he said, will gradually spread to the states mentioned above and if no action is taken within the next few days, a total outage of telecommunication sites in all these states will be catastrophically experienced.

“We are very concerned that this indiscriminate action has the potential of further leading to a total telecommunications outage in Kogi State with neighboring states and parts of the Federal Capital Territory adversely impacted,” Adebayo said.

ALTON insisted that its members have settled all statutory levies and taxes due to the Kogi State Government and have taken necessary steps to comply with local laws that govern business activities within Kogi State in addition to abduction of staff of telecom companies in the domain.

“As an industry, and as citizens of this country, we are concerned about the wider implications of the action of the KIRS. We hereby call on His Excellency, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Vice President, who is driving the Presidential Enabling Business Council on Ease of doing business in Nigeria, and the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), to prevail on the FCDA authorities and Kogi State Governor His Excellency, Yahaya Bello (a Presidential Aspirant) to as a matter of urgency bring his authority to bear on KIRS so as to prevent a total blackout in communications services in FCT, Kogi, and by extension other neighboring States of the Federation which are now under threat due to the progressive degradation in quality of services outages happening to our members capacity extension and seizure of base stations in Kogi State,” ALTON chairman said.

On the high cost of energy and security of telecom workers, ALTON decried the rising cost of diesel and its implications on the general high cost of business.

“We are concerned that unless there is an intervention to safe this sector, operators will have no choice than to begin a process of price review,” he said, stressing that the state of security on the country is of concern, in whole we commend all our security agencies for the work they do to keep us all safe, the impact of the general state of security on the country is that we are not able to provide 24/7 support in certain areas as it is unsafe to send out service personnel to some parts of the country and to other at certain times of the day,” the group said.

They enjoin the government to do a lot more to keep the nation safe and keep telecom workers safe. ALTON, he said, reaffirmed commitment to work with the security agencies in order to support national security for which now needs protection from sub-national government and agencies to stop the interference of smooth operations of telecom services.

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