23rd July, 2012
The Lagos State Government has called on banks to maintain their communications masts and towers and pull down weak ones that are still occupying airspace in the state.
General Manager, Urban Furniture Regulatory Unit, UFRU, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, made the call at a stakeholders’ meeting involving all banks operating in Lagos, southwest Nigeria.
Igbokwe said the measure became necessary, following the incessant collapse of masts and towers in the state, damaging property worth billions of naira and in some cases, claiming lives of people and leaving many in critical health conditions.
He stated that there was need to remind them of the letters written to them to submit the list of all their existing structures for database, and to be prepared to subject all masts and tower structures to integrity test.
He explained that it would remain illegal for any bank to build masts, towers or antennae in the Lagos metropolis without seeking permit from UFRU, calling on the banks to corporate with UFRU, to enable government serve the banks and their customers better.
According to him, “the whole essence of regulation is to forestall the incidence of mast collapse in the state, which has claimed lives and destroyed property worth billions of naira in the past.”
Igbokwe warned that if the banks failed to pull down their weak masts and towers, UFRU, would embark on such exercise at the expense of the banks as it did in the past.
The UFRU last month, held a similar meeting with telecom operators, who are also involved with masts and antennae for transmitting voice and data services.
Although, telecom operators also welcomed the exercise to save lives and property in the state, they, however, advised the state government to align with the Federal Government agencies such as National Environmental Standards, Regulatory and Enforcement Agency (NESREA) and others, to avoid double regulations and multiple taxation.