Thursday, May 28, 2009

Nigeria Seeks Cancellation of 2.3 GHz Licences Issued to Three Firms

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said on Tuesday that it has received a letter from an officer of the Ministry of Communications and Information demanding the cancellation of the 2.3 GHz frequencies licences awarded to three companies.

The NCC statement came amid reactions from two of the licencees, Mobitel and Multilinks, which insisted that the award of the licence to them followed due process.

A statement issued by NCC spokesman, Reuben Muoka, confirmed that there was a meeting on May 22 between the NCC and the Ministry, where Information and Communications Minister, Dora Akunyili, conveyed her intention to cancel the auction.

Muoka said the NCC advised against the idea because of its legal and regulatory consequences.

Controversy had trailed the award of the 2.3 GHz licences to Mobitel, Spectranet, and MultilinksTelkom. A fourth company, Galaxy Wireless, was disqualified because it could not meet the fee payment deadline.

Both Mobitel and MultilinksTelkom insisted on Tuesday that the award of the licence to them followed due process and all international standards.
A statement issued by Mobitel said the award was predicated on first-to-pay basis, after all the interested companies fulfilled all the requirements that qualified them for the payment of the fee.

"Mobitel paid the licence fee through SkyeBank through electronic wire transfer three days left clear of the process", the statement said.

It said it has signed several contracts with Nigerian foreign companies to roll-out services by September 2009.

Another statement issued by the Multilinks Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Ijeoma Abazie, said the company was not favoured in the process.

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