Telecommunication firms in the country have commenced a nationwide damage assessment on base transmission stations (BTS).
It was gathered that at the end of the assessment, they would call on the Federal Government to compensate them because most of the sites damaged were carried out by terrorists.
The President, Association of Licensed Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo who spoke to reporters yesterday said it was too early to estimate the damage, since the damage was huge.
He said the attacks on the BTS was rather unfortunate and had caused serious damage and worsened the interconnect debt of N20 billion in the sector. The President emphasised that after damage assessment they would seek for FG’s support.
In his words, “At this stage, we are still evaluating the magnitude of the losses we have suffered. Do not forget that in some of the sites that were damaged in the northern part of the country, we have to carry out integrity test to ascertain the integrity of those sites. In some cases, we have to out rightly replace the entire site while in other cases, the foundation would have been seriously affected and may need to be decommissioned and reinstalled.
“At this stage, we are at the level of information gathering, once we have all the facts in, we will know what to do and how to approach the government. We are not ruling out the fact that we may need to go to the government for intervention on behalf of members of the association,” he said.
He said part of the problem was caused by the flood that seriously affected the country, “We are hoping that we can get some interventions from the Federal Government in certain ways because the problem that we face (was not our making). We have the issue of attack on BTS. Our losses were quite significant. We lost money because of the wilful attack on the infrastructure. We also had losses because of the flood that swept some of the BTS across the country”
“We are hoping that at some point, we can have some intervention from government to address this wilful and unwilful attack on these infrastructure because added to this is what you have seen about the state of the industry. Some of the players are actually struggling with the issue of the interconnect debt. So, it is not as rosy as some people feel it is with the industry,” the ALTON chief said.