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FCT WILL EXPERIENCE TELECOM SERVICE BLACKOUT AS OPERATORS GET INTIMIDATED

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“The outage currently being experienced is already affecting the ability of our members to provide uninterrupted service delivery to commercial banks, Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and other critical agencies of government in the aforementioned locations.” These were the words of Gbenga Adebayo, Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators (ALTON) as he addressed newsmen on the tax disputes between Kogi Government and mobile network operators.

Gbenga Adebayo further pointed out that said Kogi State Government had allegedly shut down 150 telecoms base transceiver stations belonging to mobile telecoms operators as a result of disputes arising from taxes and levies and this may lead to ten states and parts of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) experiencing telecommunications services blackout.

He said the states to be affected include, Nassarawa, Benue, Enugu, Anambra, Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, Kwara and Niger,” and that the demands of the kogi government is not normal because ALTON members had settled all statutory levies and taxes due to the Kogi State Government and have taken necessary steps to comply with local laws that govern business activities within the state.

A result of this action is that telecmmunication operators have been unable to refuel power generators on sites and it has led to outage of over 150 sites including hub sites across parts of Kogi State. The chairman also expressed worries as he said that telecommunications sites were Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) which should be safeguarded against any form of disruption.

Adebayo noted that operators had made several overtures to Kogi State Internal Revenue Service (KIRS) in the past months in a bid to resolve the disputed issues peacefully but the agency had remained adamant.

 

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