In the early hours of Monday,13th February 2012,  many parts of Lagos witnessed an unusual occurrence of what has been aptly described as “hurricane-strength winds and rain” which tore through the city. According to media reports quoting the meteorological manager of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, “winds from the storm reached about 74 miles (120 kilometres) an hour, the threshold for hurricane wind speeds…(and) up to 40 miles (about 65 kilometres) an hour” inland. As is to be expected, this extra-ordinary occurrence caused much destruction around the city.

The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) deeply commiserates with all those individuals and businesses who were negatively impacted by the storm. We were particularly distressed to note that in addition to the several rooftops, trees, road signs, advertisement billboards and other structures which were felled by the storm, two masts belonging to telecommunications operators were similarly destroyed, causing damage to adjoining properties.

In view of the extraordinary measures that ALTON and its members continue to take to ensure that telecommunications infrastructure are built to withstand the highest level of anticipated environmental stress, Our Association is naturally distressed at this occurrence. We share the pain of all those affected and are pleased to note that the concerned operators are taking every possible measure to remediate the damage.

We also wish to re-assure members of the public that ALTON and its members will continue to ensure that telecommunications infrastructure keep being designed and built to withstand extreme natural and other pressures, and that the integrity of our sites and installations is not compromised.

Please be assured that every telecommunications installation is subjected to positive environmental impact analyses, and built to world-class specifications approved by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). The events of Monday 13th February indeed demonstrate our collective vulnerability to unexpected natural occurrences, despite having taken all necessary precautions. As the Lagos State Governor has correctly noted, Nigeria is not immune to the unusual weather patterns caused by global warming and associated events. The damage caused to the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan following the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011 illustrates this point. There are over 4,000 (four thousand) telecommunications masts in Lagos, unfortunately, two were reported affected by the unprecedented rain storm of Monday 13th February.

We therefore wish to reassure all and sundry that there is absolutely no cause for alarm regarding the safety of telecommunications infrastructure. ALTON and its members are committed to the highest standards of safety of our operations and equipment and will at all times remain so committed.


Thank you



Engr. Gbenga Adebayo


Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON)

Lagos, 14th February 2012

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