Nigerian telecom operators in shock as states demand Environmental Impact Assessment payment

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  • ALTON asks FG for clarification

Nigerian telecom operators have expressed shock over demands by some states governments for Environmental Impact Assessment payment – a responsibility of the federal government.

In a statement released this week in Lagos, the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) said in has asked the federal government for clarifications.

A dismayed Chairman of ALTON, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, said the development contradicts the existing law and only thickens entrenched practice of imposing multiple levies and taxes on telecoms operators in Nigeria.

ALTON is the licensed umbrella industry body for all telecommunications operators in Nigeria.

ALTON is asking Nigeria’s federal government to make clarification on the following issues at stake:

  1. That the Federal Ministry of Environment has ceded the EIA oversight functions to some States Ministry of Environment to issue EIA Certification to our members;
  2. That some States Ministry of Environment as the case may be can conduct EIA process to our members without recourse to the Federal Ministry of Environment and National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA);
  3. That the Statutory responsibility on environmental issues of the Federal Ministry of Environment (FME) has been transferred to the States Government;
  4. That the States now have power to collect ecological fund from private sector after payment has been made to them by the Federal Government.

“We kindly request from the Federal Ministry of Environment to clarify these positions, so to guide us in our dealing with the situation and to advise our members accordingly,” said ALTON in its public statement to the government.

Nigeria is a federation of 6 states with a federal capital territory: Abuja.

While federal laws apply largely to telecom operators, states have devised several means of imposing levies on operators often deemed as arbitrary and in conflict with federal laws.

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