The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has decided to begin dismantling telecommunication masts owned by Globacom Ltd, a Global Sattelite Mobile (GSM) telecommunications provider, in various locations across the country due to the company’s failure to pay the agency N5.9 billion in renewal fees for height clearance.
According to insiders, the development came as a result of a presidential direction to some of the presidency’s departments and parastatals to pursue creditors and defaulters and reclaim all due funds for the government.
According to sources, the problem came to a head after Globacom and NCAA exchanged mail and organized meetings to assure payment of the collected costs by the communications network, which failed.
A letter dated October 4, 2021, addressed to the Managing Director, Globacom, and titled “Re: Illegal Erection of High Structures and Refusal to Renew Expired Aviation Height Clearance Certificates by Globacom Limited,” stated that the regulatory agency had no choice but to begin dismantling the company’s masts across the country after Globacom failed to pay the required fees totaling N5.9 billion.
“In the circumstance, having exhausted all avenues for a resolution of this matter, we are now left without choice but to apply the relevant sanctions, including the dismantling of all your non-compliant masts nationwide. And this shall be without further notice to you”, it said.
The letter signed by Legal Adviser/Head, Compliance and Enforcement, Mr. Emmanuel Chukwuma, recalled that, “The meeting to discuss the above subject-matter, was fixed for September 23, 2021, at your instance.
“You may wish to recall that you had on August, 25, 2021, requested that the meeting, earlier rescheduled, at your instance, from Monday, July 26, 2021 to Thursday, August 26, 2021, be further rescheduled to Thursday, September 23, 2021, to enable your Chief Operating Officer/COO to attend.
“It is unfortunate that despite our concurrence to a further rescheduling of the meeting to the requested date, and so informing you through our letter of 13th September, 2021, you failed to turn up for the meeting”, it said.
In an earlier communication with Globacom, NCAA listed the indebtedness of globacom to include application fee for 2006 to 2007 at N100,000 per mast, totalling N689,800,000, annual renewal fee for 2007-2022 (15years), N50,000 per mast amounting to N6,898 and inspection fee covering N6,898 masts across the nation all totalling N6,064,230,000.
Sources, however, gathered from one of the documents sighted that, Globacom had only paid the sum of N100 million on July 31, 2019 and had not made any further payment.
An earlier letter from NCCA to Global said total application fee for the period under review stood at N604,800,000 while cost of inspection amounted to N190,930,000.
The letter also stated the position of NCAA in law with regards to regulation of masts.
“Please be reminded that Section 30(3)() of the Civil Aviation Act 2006 empowers the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) by law to prohibit and regulate the installation of any structure (including telecommunication mast), which by virtue of its ‘height or position is considered to endanger the safety of air navigation,” it said.
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