Telecommunications operators in the country have warned that nine out of the 36 States of the federation and Abuja may experience telecom blackout from today if President Muhammadu Buhari did not prevail on Kogi State Government to unseal certain telecom infrastructures locked down in the state.
According to the Telecommunications, the facilities were shut down as a result of alleged failure to pay some taxes and levies which was imposed by the State government.
Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria, ALTON, Engr Gbenga Adebayo, disclosed that, his members had paid all legitimate taxes and levies in the State.
Engr. Adebayo said over 70 sites within the State and its environs had shut down as a result of its members not being able to have access and maintenance to the facilities.
Speaking further, he explained that, the situation arose as a number of critical telecommunications sites belonging to their members which had been closed and sealed up by Kogi State Government in an attempt to increase Internally Generated Revenue IGR collection.
He added that, as result of those actions by the State government, the members were unable to refuel power generators in these sites, a situation which has led to outage of over 70 sites including hub sites across parts of Kogi State.
Engr. Adebayo reiterated that, he believed his members have settled all statutory levies and taxes due the Kogi State Government and have taken necessary steps to comply with local laws that govern business activities within Kogi State.
Engr. Adebayo therefore called on President Buhari to intervene urgently to avert telecom blackout that, might affect Abuja too.
The action would impact States around Kogi State which includes; Nassarawa, Benue, Enugu, Anambra, Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, Kwara, Niger States and Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, inclusive. These are States sharing borders with Kogi State.