FCT And Ten Other States May Face Telecommunications Blackout In Nigeria
According to report reaching Brainnewsradio Ten States including Federal Capital Territory(FCT) is soon likely to face Telecommunications services failure following tax disputes between Kogi government and mobile network operators.
This was made known in Lagos by Gbenga Adebayo, Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators (ALTON), while briefing newsmen on issues affecting the nations Telecommunications industry.
The Report from NTA states that The ALTON chief said Kogi State Government had allegedly shut down 150 telecoms base transceiver stations belonging to mobile telecoms operators as a result of disputes arising from taxes and levies.
In a statement, the chief said that the operators, comprising MTN, Globacom, Airtel, 9Mobile and Ntel, said that 150 base stations have been shut by the state’s revenue agency, warning that if nothing is done, the effect would lead to blackout in nine other neighbouring states to Kogi and parts of Abuja.
Adebayo said, according to the report, that the tax and levies being demanded by Kogi was ‘unusual’ as they had nothing to do with telecommunications services and as a result of these actions by Kogi State Government, our members are unable to refuel power generators in these sites, a situation which has led to outage of over 150 sites including hub sites across parts of Kogi State.
He stated also that the blackout will definitely affect nine states surrounding Kogi namely:- Nasarawa, Benue, Enugu, Anambra, Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, Kwara, Niger States. These are States sharing borders with Kogi
State), and Abuja the FCT inclusive.
Adebayo stated the effects that will come after this network failure, how it will affect Automated Teller Machine (ATM) services, and that it will also jeopardize security agencies such as The Police force,
Armed forces and other social services.
This according to the reports is caused by the Kogi state tax disruption and that the action followed an ex-parte court order obtained by the Kogi State Internal Revenue Service (KIRS) over unsubstantiated allegations that the telecom operators were in default of tax payments to the state government.
Adebayo warned that telecommunications sites were Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) which should be safeguarded against any form of disruption, and that state governments were encouraged to explore other means of resolving tax related disputes rather than sealing telecommunications sites.