The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says the incessant closure of telecoms base stations and sites across the country by various government agencies “is illegal.”
Base Transceiver Station (BTS) frequently get shut down by Local, State and Federal Government agencies on grounds ranging from environmental to taxation matters.
Such actions are illegal says the government telecoms watchdog which explained that, “no individual or agency of government has the powers to seal any public infrastructure except with the pronouncement of a court of competent jurisdiction.”
While encouraging the operators to fulfill their obligations with respect to the payment of all legitimate taxes and procurement of relevant permits, the NCC explained that telecoms infrastructure are “Critical National Assets.”
According to the telecoms regulator, “the action of sealing any BTS site has severe security implications, especially owing to the prevalent security challenges being experienced in the country today.” In addition, the sealing of BTS site portends grave consequences on the already-constrained service quality in the telecoms market.
The watchdog reiterated its mandate as the sole body responsible for the regulation of the telecommunications industry in Nigeria and therefore enjoined stakeholders to desist from the action of sealing of any BTS site.