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Government earns N47b from spectrum sale in one year


NCC Building

NCC Building

The Federal Government may have earned about N47 billion from various spectrum sales in the last one year.According to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) which gave the figure yesterday in Abuja, the Federal Government is committed to realising the 30 per cent broadband target set for 2018, and it is doing every thing within its capacities, including spectrum sales to ensure this comes to fruition.

Besides, NCC decried the spate of unsolicited short message service (SMS), which operators are still bombarding customers with despite several warnings.Speaking to journalists on the anniversary of his first year in office, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said the commission would through its technical committee meet with the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to find out while there has been partial compliance with the directive on them to activate on their network, the ‘Do Not Disturb’ code 2442.

Danbatta declared that the NCC would not hesitate to sanction any of the MNOs found to be culpable by deliberately encouraging the menace.He stressed that a N5 million fine looms on any of the service operators caught contravening this directive.

Assessing its eight-point agenda, which formed the fulcrum of his administration, Danbatta said the commission had committed resources and efforts towards the deployment of broadband services across the country with significant impact.

He said that the active mobile broadband penetration, released by the Broadband Commission for sustainable development showed that Nigeria has reached a penetration of 20.95 per cent. He added that on the percentage of Internet penetration, the country has reached a milestone of 47.44 per cent, second to South Africa on the continent.

According to him: “We have been able to articulate a regulatory framework that will enable strategic and systemic licensing and deployment of broadband infrastructure across the country.”

A Broadband Implementation Monitoring Committee has also been established within the commission to give proper assessment on regular basis of broadband infrastructure deployment.”

Meanwhile, in a bid to promote ICT innovations and investments opportunities in the country, the NCC boss said the commission approved the acquisition of 100 per cent shareholding of Visafone Communication Limited in favour of MTN Nigeria Communications Limited, “the result is that consumers who have lost services under Visafone are now regaining the services.”

“We didn’t allow MTN to acquire the Visafone’s spectrum to avoid some issues in the industry. Already, there is this issue apart ‘Dominant Operator’ which has been attached to MTN, so it was considered that should MTN acquire the spectrum, there could be issues,” Danbatta stressed.

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NCCProf. Umar Danbatta
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