THE Nigeria Communications Commission, NCC, has warned government agencies and the public over the incessant closure of telecommunication base transceiver station, BTS, sites across the country. It warned various agencies of the federal, state and local governments, to stop sealing off BTS without permission by a competent court of law.
Tony Ojobo, NCC director, public affairs, said that shutting down base stations of various telecom operators “truncates smooth operations by the affected service providers, especially when the agencies have not been permitted by any court to embark on the clampdown. The attention of the Nigeria Communications Commission, NCC, has been drawn to the incessant closure of telecommunication Base Transceiver Station, BTS, sites across the country by various agencies of the federal, state and local governments. While the commission encourages its licensees to fulfil their obligations with respect to the payment of all legitimate taxes and procurement of relevant permits, it is however, disturbed by the indiscriminate closure of telecom facilities without exhausting available dispute resolution mechanisms.
“It is a fact that telecommunication infrastructure is considered Critical National Assets, hence, the action of sealing any BTS sites has several security implications, especially owing to the prevalent security challenges being experienced in the country today. In addition, the sealing of BTS sites portends grave consequences on the already constrained quality of service. No individual or agency of government has the powers to seal any public infrastructure except with the pronouncement of a court of competent jurisdiction,” he said.
According to Ojobo, the NCC frowns at the action of any BTS site and would like to use this medium to emphasise on the need for all stakeholders to desist from this act. In 2012 alone, the National Environmental Standards and Regulatory Enforcement Agency, NESREA, sealed over 50 telecom masts nationwide.
In 2013, both Globacom and Visafone base stations were sealed by NESEREA at various locations. Early this year, Enugu State government sealed off MTN, and Edo, Osun and Lagos States have threatened to hand similar punishments to telecom operators for reasons ranging from environmental nuisance, non-remittance of taxes and use of inadequate equipment.
NBS Puts GDP at Six Percent
THE National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, has put the growth rate of real Gross Domestic Product, GDP, at 6.54 percent in second quarter of 2014. Yemi Kale, statistician-general of the federation, said the figure was 0.14 higher than the 5.40 percent recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2013, and also higher than the 6.21percent recorded in the first quarter of 2014.
“In the second quarter of 2014, Nigeria’s Nominal GDP (at basic prices) was estimated at N 21.7 billion and16.1 billion in real terms. In the corresponding quarter of 2013, the nominal GDP was estimated N19.9 billion and N15.1 billion in real terms,’’ he said.
According to Kale, the average daily crude oil production in the second quarter of 2014 stood at 2.21 million barrels per day as against 2.11 million barrels per day in the corresponding quarter of 2013. “This is an increase of 0.10 million barrels per daily or 4.7 percent. In addition, the US dollar price of crude increased significantly from an average price of 104.31 percent in the second quarter of 2013 to 112.25 percent in the second quarter of 2014, an increase of 7.6 percent. Consequently, oil GDP was valued at N2.6 billion in nominal terms in the second quarter of 2014, compared to N2.6 billion recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2013.”
He said that real growth in the oil sector was recorded at 5.40 percent in the second quarter of 2014 (-5.22 percent quarter-on-quarter), indicating better performance compared to -16.42 percent growth recorded in the second quarter of 2013. Kale said the non-oil real sector of the economy grew by 6.71 percent in the second quarter of 2014. “This is a decline of 2.17 percentage point from the 8.88 percent growth recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2013. Relative to the first quarter of 2013, non-oil growth was also lower by 1.49 percentage point when growth was recorded at 8.21 percent.”
Kale said the services sector accounted for the largest share of real GDP in the second quarter of 2014, amounting to N8.5 billion or 53.15 percent. “Industry ranked second with a contribution of N4.2 billion or 25.96 percent, while agriculture constituted the smallest sector in the second quarter, representing N3.4 billion or 20.89 percent of GDP,” he said.
Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu
— Sep. 22, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT