• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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FG earns $820m from 5G auctioning- Pantami

FG earns $820m from 5G auctioning- Pantami

The Federal Government says it has earned $820.8 million from the auctioning of the 5G licence processes.

Isa Ali Ibrahim, minister of communications and digital economy disclosed this during the ministry’s presentation of President Muhammadu Buhari administration scorecard in Abuja on Thursday.

Mafab Communications Ltd and MTN Nigeria plc, had emerged the two successful winners of the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum auction for the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) technology to support the delivery of ubiquitous broadband services in Nigeria.

According to the minister, in addition to the revenue generated from the 5G spectrum, revenue is being generated from other spectrum fees. “For example, in 2020, N26,428,642,451.61 was generated as spectrum fees.”

“MTN, Mafab and Airtel all have participated in the auction process and each obtained a lot of 100 MHz from the 3.5GHz spectrum after successfully participating in the auction process.

“This generated $820.8m for the Federal Government. 5G services are now available in in at least 225 sites across eight states in Nigeria,” he said.

He also noted that over 16 million Nigerians gained broadband access, as the number of people with broadband access grew from 72,153,824 in August 2019 to 88,273,690 in November 2022.

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“The cost of data dropped from N1,200 per GB in August 2019 to N350 (far earlier than the plan of making it N390 by December 2025).

“Based on the National Broadband Plan, we were to have 90 percent broadband coverage by December 2025. However, we recently gave a licence to Starlink to provide services and this has given us 100 percent coverage, about three years ahead of schedule.

The minister commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the adoption of the National Digital Economy Policy on Strategy for a Digital Nigeria.

According to him, the policy was implemented on several pillars including: developmental regulation, digital skills or literacy, service infrastructure, digital services development and promotion, indigenous content development and promotion among others.

He further disclosed the ministry’s effort in ensuring the suspension of excise duty in the telecommunication sector. He stated that introducing excise duty on the sector would be too much burden, as it has recorded increase in its revenue over the years.

“When there was an effort to introduce excise duty in the telecommunication sector. We explained to the president the dangers that this will have on the sector. He immediately approved the suspension and he said anything that will bring unnecessary hardship to our citizens will not be tolerated.

“That is what stopped the plan on introducing excise duty in the telecommunications sector because there was no any need, a sector that increased revenues from N51 billion to more than N408 billion and you want to introduce more burden on it. That is why Buhari said we cannot accept that and he approved its suspension”, he added.