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The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has shut down mast belonging to Glo telecommunications in Abuja over the non-payment of unserviced debt of 4.7 billion.

The action was said to be taken to enforce the Aviation Height Clearance (AHC) regulation and to ensure the safety of aviation in Nigeria.

According to the NCAA, all masts are mapped out with a certain height and put in the chart and the process of doing that requires funding but all other service providers have been paying for the service except Glo.

The regulator revealed that Glo has only paid N500 million out of the 5.2 billion it owes, bringing the sum for the outstanding to N4.7.

Musa Nuhu, the director-general, in accompany of Hadi Sirika, the minister of aviation said, “The action we have taken is for the safety of aviation in Nigeria. It is our responsibility that any mast of a certain height, must be regulated to ensure it is properly covered and it is no threat to any low flying aircraft like helicopters, drone and not necessary passengers’ flights.”

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Nuhu said since he resumed office, NCAA had written to Glo on several occasions, reviewed the bill given to them after they raised some issues but they have since failed to pay the government.

“None of the communication service providers has that amount overdue for payment. I think this started in 2007. This has been going on for almost 15 years, we don’t like shutting down things like that but we have to take this drastic action because of the financial situation and pressure from different sectors of governments like the federal ministry of aviation, fiscal responsibility commission, auditor-general, accountant-general and different committees in the National Assembly.

“We keep carrying this debt in our account year in and year out. We are under tremendous pressure, we need to sort this out so that we can get them off our records. We have taken this action to get their attention so that they can come and make some payment. They made a little payment, they can make an additional payment and give us a concrete payment plan and how the rest of the money can be paid,” he said.

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