Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Environment has announced it intends to impose sanctions on telecoms companies operating in Nigeria that violated the nation’s Environmental Impact Assessment regulations.
According to Ben Goong, deputy director of press and public relations in the ministry, the decision to sanction telecom operators was reached when Darius Ishaku, supervising minister of the ministry, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Omobola Johnson, minister of communications technology.
“Under the agreement, all telecom operators in violation of the EIA regulation will now pay the specified non-compliance and administrative fees to the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency. Similarly, all base stations that predate the National Environmental Standards for Telecommunication and Broadcast facilities regulations No. 11 of 2011, which are violation of the Nigerian Communication Commission’s Guidelines should be referred to the NCC for appropriate remediation,” it said.
It said all base station sites that were in existence prior to the National Environmental Standards for Telecommunication and Broadcast Facilities Regulations No. 11 of 2011 and that are in compliance with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) guidelines would be re-opened.
According to the MoU, an inter-ministerial standing committee comprising the two ministries, the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) will be set up to handle issues arising from the location of telecom base stations and related matters in the country.
“NESREA has been mandated to communicate to NCC the total number of sealed telecom base stations that violated the EIA Act, and copy same to the federal ministries of environment and communications technology,” it said.
It said both ministers were optimistic the MoU will lead to rapid improvement in the development of telecommunication infrastructure in the country.
“The two ministers also believe that the agreement will lead to improved quality delivery to telecom consumers,” it said.
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