6 June 2012

Nigeria: Lagos State Begins Regulation of Telecoms Masts

Lagos — Lagos State government recently announced the commencement of mast regulation in the state through the Urban Furniture Regulatory Unit (UFRU).

The state's Commissioner of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Olutoyin Ayinde, who made the announcement at a consultative forum with telecoms stakeholders in Lagos, said the essence of the regulation was to ensure safety of lives and property.

According to him, it is to avoid a repeat of the February 23 rainstorm that pulled down several masts belonging to banks and Internet Service Providers (ISPs), killing people at different locations in the state.

"Henceforth, mast operators must seek permit of approval from UFRU for every new mast to be installed in the state, while inventory of existing masts will be taken," Ayinde said."

He explained that the ministry was not going to issue new specifications for mast installations, but would ensure strict compliance of existing specifications as released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and other regulatory bodies.

Present at the consultative forum were the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), telecoms operators, ISPs, NCC and mast builders, among others.

The commissioner advised all users of masts in the state to meet with UFRU and obtain a planning information form with which they will process approval for new mast installations.

"Our integrity is in creating a conducive environment for businesses to thrive in the state and we are concerned about safety of lives and property, hence the need to supervise mast installation in the state," the Commissioner said.

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