By Chinenye Anuforo, [email protected]
Telecommunications the operators, under the umbrella of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ALTON), have urged the Federal Government to intervene in the closure of telecommunications facilities in Kogi State due to disputes over taxes and levies state-required unusual through the Kogi State Internal Revenue Service (KIRS).
The president of the association, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, at a press conference in Lagos, said that if the government did not intervene in the case, he would take action by following the process provided for this kind of dispute. deal with the regulator.
He explained that part of the actions could be to revise prices or practice discriminatory prices in Kogi State.
Adebayo said KIRS’ action was based on an ex parte court order obtained by KIRS over unsubstantiated allegations that ALTON members were in default of paying taxes to the state government and that the access to these critical telecommunications sites had been denied.
He said: “This issue is likely to result in complete communications blackout throughout Kogi State, parts of Abuja, Federal Capital Territory, and possible impact on service availability in parts of the following states. : Nassarawa, Benue, Enugu, Anambra, Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, Kwara, Niger. These are states sharing borders with Kogi State.
The President of ALTON said that as a result of these actions by the state government, its members were unable to refuel the generators or provide support or maintenance services at the sites, which resulted in the outage of more than 70 sites, including central sites. through parts of Kogi.
“The impact of these outages will gradually spread to the states mentioned above and, if no action is taken in the coming days, a total outage of telecommunications sites in all of these states will be catastrophic.”
Adebayo also raised concerns about the degraded quality of services in the FCT.
He said that the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), office of the Director of Signage and Advertising, had refused to grant telecommunications service providers permission to build infrastructure in the capital, which affected the quality of services around FCT and Abuja.
He also lamented the rising cost of diesel and its implications for the overall high cost of doing business.
“We are concerned that unless there is intervention to save this sector, operators will have no choice but to start a process of revising prices.
The state of security in our country is concerning, we commend all of our security agencies for the work they are doing to keep us all safe, the impact of the general state of security on the country is that we are not unable to provide 24/7 in some areas because it is unsafe to send service personnel to some parts of the country and others at certain times of the day,” Adebayo said.