The Federal Government has warned telecommunication companies against mounting towers above 25 meters in height in residential areas.
This was disclosed in the Guideline on Technical Specifications for the Deployment of Infrastructure in the Communication Sector in Nigeria released by the Nigerian Communications Commision (NCC).
The regulator said the guideline is to ensure public safety and sound engineering practices by service providers and operators.
According to the NCC, towers that are unused for three years must be removed by the operator within a 90 day period of notice by the NCC, failure of which would attract a N250,000 penalty.
The robust growth in the country’s telecom industry cannot be disassociated from the influx of tower infrastructure. Telecom towers were 40,451 as of June according to the NCC.
IHS Towers NG Limited controls 969 towers; IHS (Nigeria) Limited has 16, 330; INT Towers 16, 330; Trussnet Limited, two and ATC Nigeria 6,907 of the country’s mast.
“Communications towers above 25 metres in height would not be permitted within districts delineated as residential.
“Notwithstanding sub-paragraph (4) of this guideline, where towers in excess of 25 metres in height are permitted, they should be placed at a minimum setback of 10 meters distance to the nearest demised property, excluding the fence. Prior permission must be obtained from the Commission.
“Towers and masts sited in contravention of these Guidelines shall be removed and the owner of the tower shall bear the cost of such removal”, the NCC said, adding that the maximum height for a communications tower in the country will not exceed 150 metres.
“Notwithstanding sub-paragraph, a tower, exceeding 150 metres in height, may be approved by the Commission if it is satisfied that the increased height of the tower will not be detrimental to public health, safety or general welfare, will not have a negative effect on the neighbourhood, is in conformity with the plan of the particular area and the general plan of the community.
“A tower that has not been used for a continuous period of three years may be deemed to have been abandoned. Upon the determination of abandonment, the Commission shall issue a removal notice to the owner, whereupon the owner shall dismantle and remove the tower from the property within 90 days of the receipt of notice from the Commission.
“An abandoned tower that is not removed within the 90 day period may be removed by the Commission and the removal costs as well as a minimum penalty of two hundred and fifty thousand naira shall be paid by the owner to the Commission”, the NCC further stated.