₦5.9b Debt: Globacom in Fresh Trouble as FG Moves To Demolish Masts

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is in trouble as the Federal moves to demolish masts due to an ₦5.9 billion debt.

 

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The () has decided to begin dismantling telecommunication masts owned by Ltd, a Global Sattelite Mobile (GSM) telecommunications provider, in various locations across the country due to the company’s failure to pay the agency N5.9 billion in renewal fees for height clearance.

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According to sources, the development came as a result of a presidential directive to some of the presidency’s agencies and parastatals to pursue debtors and defaulters and recover all outstanding funds for the .

According to sources, the matter came to a head after Globacom and exchanged correspondence and scheduled meetings to ensure payment of the accumulated fees by the telecommunication network, which failed.

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A letter dated October 4, 2021, addressed to the Managing Director, Globacom, and titled “Re: Illegal Erection of High Structures and Refusal to Renew Expired Aviation Height Clearance Certificates by Globacom Limited,” stated that the regulatory agency had no choice but to begin dismantling the company’s masts across the country after Globacom failed to pay the required fees totalling N5.9 billion.

“In the circumstances, having exhausted all avenues for resolving this matter, we are now left with no choice but to impose the appropriate sanctions, which include the nationwide dismantling of all your non-compliant masts.” It added, “And this shall be without further notice to you.”

“The meeting to discuss the above subject matter was fixed for September 23, 2021, at your request,” Legal Adviser/Head, Compliance and Enforcement, Mr. Emmanuel Chukwuma wrote in the letter.

“You may recall that on August 25, 2021, you requested that the meeting, which had previously been rescheduled at your request from Monday, July 26, 2021, to Thursday, August 26, 2021, be rescheduled again to Thursday, September 23, 2021, for your Chief Operating Officer/COO to attend.

“Unfortunately, you failed to show up for the meeting despite our agreement to a further rescheduling of the meeting to the requested date, and thus informing you through our letter of 13th September 2021,” it said.

The NCAA Director-General had to cancel an official assignment in Europe and return to Nigeria to attend the meeting, according to the letter.

“Three days later, Globacom wrote the letter in question, requesting that the meeting be rescheduled, with no explanation for the failure of any management staff to show up.”

“I am directed to inform you that the NCAA is not inclined to grant this latest (fourth) request to reschedule the meeting, especially since no reason for your non-attendance on the previous date was given.”

“In the circumstances, having exhausted all avenues for resolving this matter, we are now left with no choice but to impose the appropriate sanctions, which include the nationwide dismantling of all your non-compliant masts.” It added, “And this shall be without further notice to you.”

In a previous communication with Globacom, NCAA listed the indebtedness of Globacom as including an application fee of ₦100,000 per mast for 2006-2007, totalling ₦689,800,000, an annual renewal fee of ₦50,000 per mast for 2007-2022 (15 years), totalling ₦6,898, and an inspection fee covering ₦6,898 masts across the country, totalling ₦6,064,230,000.

However, according to sources, Globacom only paid N100 million on July 31, 2019, and had not made any further payments.

According to an earlier letter from NCCA to Global, the total application fee for the period under consideration was ₦604,800,000, with inspection costs totalling ₦190,930,000.

In addition, the letter stated the NCAA’s legal position on mast regulation.

“Please be reminded that Section 30(3) of the Civil Aviation Act 2006 empowers the (NCAA) to prohibit and regulate the installation of any structure (including a telecommunication mast) that is considered to endanger the safety of air navigation under its ‘height or position,'” it said.

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