41.3 Million Telecom Users Could Be Cut Off as Kogi Govt Shuts Down Telecom Infrastructures

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41.3 Million Telecom Users Could Be Cut Off as Kogi State Govt Aims Orders Telcos To Pay "Arbitrary" Levies

Some Nigerian telecom subscribers may witness a glitch in service delivery over the coming days as telcos clash with the Kogi State government.

According to Guardian, Kogi State Government has temporary shut down several telecom infrastructures in the state due to an unusual backlog of telecom taxes and levies. The state’s Internal Revenue Service (KIRS) wants the telcos to pay up on behalf of the state’s Ministry of Environment. Their failure to respond pushed the government to obtain an ex-parte court order on the matter.

About 70 telecom sites have reportedly been shut down according to the report. But that figure has risen since Monday. About 150 base transceiver stations belonging to several telecom operators has been shut down.

As a result of this, service disruption is expected to hit several states over the next couple of days.

A total of nine to ten states, particularly those in the North Central area, are reportedly going to witness service disruptions over the next coming days. States such as Kwara, Benue, Enugu, Anambra, Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, Niger, Nasarawa and Ekiti are in danger of being temporarily cut off. The country’s capital, Abuja is also in danger of being cut off. The total number of affected customers could be as high as 41.3 million users.

This move by the Kogi state government comes as a huge surprise though. For one, it does not appear that Nigeria’s telecom regulatory body, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), was consulted at all.

Telecom operators through the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), has already raised concern over the issue. The association calls the levies “arbitrary and unusual.” It noted that the telecom infrastructures in question are critical and should not be tampered with.

“ALTON is worried that the action by Kogi will jeopardise communication services provided by us to security agencies such as the Nigeria Police Force, the Armed Forces in addition and to other emergency and social services in Kogi and other neighbouring states.”

The NCC has reportedly stepped into the matter but there’s no confirmation of that from the regulator.


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