By Emma Okonji
Telecoms operators (Telcos) under the aegis of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has warned that the directive given by Nigerian Customs Service to suspend the supply of petroleum products to filling stations within 20km of all border areas, could crumble telecoms operations in the country with serious adverse effect on service quality.
Chairman of ALTON, Gbenga Adebayo, said due to the directive, trucks that supply diesel to all telecoms sites and base transceiver stations (Base Stations) around the border areas were denied passage to reload telecoms sites.
He warned that if the directive was not reversed immediately, it could lead to shutdown of telecoms sites that are also linked to other telecoms sites in the area and would eventually lead to disruption of telecoms services in the country.
Telcos therefore called on the telecoms regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and the Federal Government to urgently intervene to avoid breakdown of telecoms services in the country.
In a letter dated November 8, 2019, addressed to the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, the ALTON Chairman raised the implications of the Customs directive and called for quick intervention of the NCC.
In the letter, ALTON chairman, Adebayo, said: “So far the Nigeria Customs Service has stopped our members’ trucks in Kebbi, Kano and Calabar from supplying diesel to the telecoms sites within the border areas, which may lead to total shut down of Communications systems and services and by implication worsen the security operations within those areas.
“We urgently request the immediate intervention of the NCC and the federal government because by midday of November 9, major hub sites carrying heavy traffic will be shut down due to lack of diesel.”