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Lagos won't extend masts deadline

12 December 2013, 08:44Henry Ifeanyi

Lagos - The Lagos State Government has insisted that it will not extend the December 31 deadline given to owners to take down old telecommunications masts.

As such, the owners would be forced to replace the obsolete structures.

Addressing journalists on the issue, the state government officials said owners of such masts had not showed any effort towards complying with the deadline despite a series of warning authorities issued.

Speaking on behalf of the state government, General Manager, Urban Furniture Regulatory Unit, Joe Igbokwe, said as soon as the deadline elapsed, agents of the state would immediately move in to pull down the masts.

Such masts have been identified and according to him, they are a safety risk.

Telecommunication firms, banks, internet service providers, insurance companies, oil companies, and many other firms own these masts, he said.

Igbokwe said the state had carried out integrity tests on selected sites and discovered that most of these “could not stand the test of time.”

He pointed out that the state government had shown exemplary leadership by decommissioning its old mast at Lagos House, Alausa and commissioned a new one that met the standard set by unit.

He regretted that other mast owners were still “dragging their feet.”

“We have been speaking to them since last year, but we have not seen any serious commitment from them,” said the official.

He warned that the deadline would not be extended since the state government had not seen any practical commitment from owners of the mast.

The Lagos state government recently backed down on some of its hard stance on telecommunication infrastructure regulation which included multiple taxation and high fees for granting right of way.

However, Igbokwe was reiterated the administration would not change its position on old hollow masts.

“They pose safety challenges to residents of the state,” he said.

– CAJ News


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