Joe Igbokwe, general manager of Lagos State’s Urban Furniture Regulatory Unit (UFRU), said the affected masts are those that belong to banks, internet service providers (ISPs), and other small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
The directive is part of a new set of guidelines the UFRU has put forward to guide the construction of masts in Nigeria’s commercial capital city of Lagos.Speaking to bank officials, Igbokwe directed them to replace all masts made from hollow pipes.
He said: “All hollow pipe type of masts must be removed and replaced with galvanized steel that has the shape of a pyramid. We will not accept re-painting of masts, but a complete evacuation of hollow pipe masts, and the evacuation must start now.”
He noted that the hollow pipe masts cannot withstand strong winds, heavy rainfall and sunshine. He said the masts are easily blown away by wind and had been responsible for the collapse of buildings and destruction of properties worth several billions of naira.Igbokwe also revealed the unit has reviewed the cost of obtaining a permit to install new masts, which will now cost NGN400,000 (US$2,500). Replacements will cost NGN200,000 (US$1,200), while an annual maintenance fee of NGN100,000 (US$620) will be paid on each mast.
by Paul Adepoju