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Lagos to destroy more defective masts

03 March 2014, 08:48Henry Ifeanyi

Lagos - The Lagos State Urban Furniture Regulatory Unit (UFRU) announced plans to pull down more defective telecommunications masts.

The agency has lifted a suspension of its earlier demolition exercise.

The agency had last year 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.

It noted that the order was given following the incessant collapse of the old masts in the state at the slightest wind storm, leading to deaths and destruction of properties.

As at the December deadline issued to the mast owners, none complied with the directive prompting the agency to commence massive pulling down of such mast across the state.

The exercise was however halted following appeals by several stakeholders for more time.

One of the stakeholders and President, Internet Service Providers Association of Nigeria ( ISPAN), Sunday Folayan, admitted that there was need for old masts to be pulled down but that the owners needed more time to comply with the Lagos state directive.

Folayan's  appeal and many others from top industry stakeholders led to the temporary suspension of the pulling down exercise.

A top official of  UFRU however said the exercise would resume any time this month.

The official, who requested anonymity, said many of the mast owners were not making any serious effort to comply with the  pulling down directive.

“We have given them enough time. We stopped the exercise because many banks appealed to us to allow them pull down the masts by themselves. That was one month ago. Our finding has shown that the appeal was just a ploy to buy more time. Since we stopped the exercise, not one single defective mast has been pulled down by their owners.

"This is a clear indication that the mast owners are obviously not serious about pulling down those dangerous masts. Any time from this month, I can assure you that our men will start pulling down those masts again,” the official said.

He noted that if the defective masts were not pulled down before  the rainy session begun, more Lagos residents might be at risk as witnessed during the last rainy session when some residents were injured by defective masts destroyed by heavy wind.

At the last pulling down exercise, several banking services were disrupted.

– CAJ News

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