Globacom’s Abuja base station was shut down by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) due to the exhaustion of all means for resolution between Nigerian telecommunication and civil aviation.
According to a letter from the regulatory body, Globacom owes the agency over N5 billion for breaching air safety by erecting telecommunication masts without Aviation Height Clearance approvals and failure to renew expired ones.
In light of this, NCAA, in a letter signed by NCAA legal adviser and head, compliance and enforcement, Emmanuel Chukwuma, says, “In the circumstance, having exhausted all avenues for a resolution of this matter, we are left without a 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.”
The indefinite shutdown of Globacom’s Abuja base station was led by the director-general of NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu. He made it known that the agency will continue to shut Globacom’s Main Switch Centres across the country until Glo agrees to a payment schedule.
According to NCAA, this action is backed by the law. That body stated, “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”.
The spokesperson for NCAA, Sam Adurogboye, reiterated this and said, “One of Globacom’s Abuja base station was disabled today by NCAA to pressure the company to commit to a payment plan. They owed NCAA, and we have been on it for years. They did not attend meetings and did not give any payment plan”.
Due to Globacom’s inability to honour the scheduled meeting and state a reason for their absenteeism, the letter states that “Globacom only wrote the letter under reference three days after, asking that the meeting be rescheduled, without any explanation for the failure of any management staff to show up”.
“I am directed to inform you that the NCAA is not disposed to granting this latest (fourth) request to reschedule the meeting, particularly, as no reason was given for your non-attendance on the last date”, it states.
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, the 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.
However, on July 31, 2019, Globacom paid the sum of N100million and has yet to make another payment since. An earlier letter from NCCA to Global said the total application fee for the period under review stood at N604,800,000 while the inspection cost amounted to N190,930,000.