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Nigeria internet providers call for telecoms masts deadline extension

Nigeria internet providers call for telecoms masts deadline extension.

The Internet Service Providers Association of Nigeria (ISPAN) in Lagos has appealed for an extension of a deadline to pull down telecommunications masts around the state.

The appeal comes amid threats issued by the state government last week that it plans to start enforcing the pulling down of ‘old, hollow pipe telecoms structures’.

Members of the public have previously sustained injuries after outdated masts collapsed during bad weather.

The Lagos State Urban Furniture Regulatory Unit (UFRU) last week said the state was concerned that since a directive was issued two months ago, none of the owners of the masts have responded to the order to pull down the masts.

Joe Igbokwe, head of UFRU, warned that by December 31, the agency would start pulling down such masts across the state.

UFRU two months back, instructed banks, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), insurance companies and other firms to immediately replace old hollow pipe telecoms masts in the state and replace them with galvanised steel masts.

But reacting to the deadline, the president of ISPAN Sunday Folayan admitted that while there was a need for old masts to be pulled down, the owners needed more time to comply with the directive.

“We cannot continue to erect masts that are not in accordance to standards. Secondly, when government is making certain policies or giving directives, they should consider the economic impact on the stakeholders involved. Any programme that does not carry stakeholders along, obviously will affect them adversely. As law abiding citizens, we will adhere to the directives. All we are appealing for is time," he said.

Meanwhile, following a workshop in the state this past weekend, engineer Anthony Nwosu, who is the vice president of the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), also the called for extension of the deadline set by the Lagos government.

Lagos argues that pulling down the masts could allow for more effective monitoring and control of telecoms infrastructure in the state.

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