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Telecomms Operators Threaten Total Shutdown In 6 States

Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has threatened to suspend services in six states over closure of their Base Transceiver Stations (BTS).

ALTON Chairman, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo on Thursday listed the states as Ogun, Ondo, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Osun and Kaduna.

He lamented that they were treating the telecoms industry as an extractive sector by imposing myriads of taxes on operators and closing down the BTS sites arbitrarily, disclosing that the body had resolved that its members will not reopen sites closed by state or local government authority.

He stated that arbitrary sites closure without following the Nigeria Communications Commission, (NCC) guidelines and best practices will no longer be tolerated.

Adebayo alleged that some levies and taxes are multiple in nature because most of them are only aimed at the telecoms operators

He said: “We are considering very carefully the situation of site closure and harassment of our members in some of those states and we may begin anytime soon to have them feel the impact of their actions on telecom operators if they do not desist from deliberate disruption of our operations.”

The chairman appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to place a presidential declaration on “telecom Infrastructure as Critical National Security and Economic Infrastructure” as provided by the cybercrime law of 2015.

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