Lagos urges telcos, others to play by rule

 Lagos urges telcos, others to play by rule

lasimira-fw_The General Manager, Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA), Mr. Babajide Odekunle, has urged telcos and other infrastructure providers to obey planning rules. He warned that end has come to the era where they operate beyond the government’s approval.
Speaking on the sidelines of the stakeholders’ forum organised by the agency at Renaissance Hotel, Isaac John Street, Ikeja, he said the agency decided to embark on Utility Infrastructure Audit in the state to have a reliable data about the infrastructure level, lamenting that some service providers have abused their right by exceeding what they asked and got approval for.
He said: “The cost of not having the audit of infrastructure in the state is a lot. Operators apply for permit of one kilometer and ended up taking between two and three. The simple thing is that they have been shortchanging the state. It is not right and we will not accept that. If you have been given the right of way (RoW) of one kilometer and you have used two or three, you must pay for the extra.”
He said the approach of the agency at regulating the activities of infrastructure providers in the state is anchored on four pillars identified as business enabler; health and safety; community partnerships; and urban control.
“As business enabler, while we take our statutory role as a regulatory agency very seriously, we have a defined procedure for issuing permits for our areas of operations. We are a one-stop shop for all operators irrespective of the area of operation in the state. We ensure that no local government area/local development area demands for the same permits that are issued by LASIMRA, he said, adding that the agency’s administrative model of operations has become a case study for other states.
He said the orderly management of the built environment remained important to the agency.
“In the areas of overground and underground infrastructure, we are determined to sanitise the infrastructure erected on the ground and underground. We stand to partner with all stakeholders in order to achieve harmony and peaceful coexistence. Our Stakeholders’ Engagement Unit seeks to engage stakeholders in the areas of project information, environmental impact, community development, communication and project awareness,” he said.
He added that the agency is saddled with the task of ensuring controlled development of communications, power, gas and water infrastructure in the state because they are critical to an orderly urban environment. “Our approach will be to engage on a sustainable basis, all our stakeholders in order to achieve an environment that is livable and prosperous,” Mr Odekunle said.


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