• Monday, July 22, 2024
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NCC says unaware of Bola Tinubu’s connection to Mafab Communications

Tinubu losing grip of South-West

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has denied awareness of any link between Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former Governor of Lagos State, and Mafab Communications Limited, one of the winners of the 5G spectrum sold by the commission.

This comes as some online media alleged that Mafab Communications was merely a front representing the interest of some powerful Nigerians, including the former Governor.

Mafab Communications emerged as one of the winners of the 5G spectrum licence after beating Airtel. The company’s emergence came as a surprise to many stakeholders and experts, this is given that it was merely incorporated in July 2020 and had yet to show any form of experience in the industry as an operator. Also, the company seems to have no visible profile of its leadership. The company’s website also went off the web shortly after it was announced the winner of the $273 million licence.

According to the NCC, the process that led to the emergence of Mafab was very transparent and witnessed by a cross-section of stakeholders as observers, including the media, the Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) as well as civil society groups.

Read more Mafab: The little known winner of 5G licence

Mafab Communications, it said has been duly licenced by the Commission to conduct telecommunications business. The company, which is in good regulatory standing with the Commission, currently holds international data access (IDA), inter-connect data exchange (IDE) and Value-Added Service (VAS) licences.

Also, the Information Memorandum (IM) for the auction of the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum clearly set out eligibility criteria for participation of interested bidders in the auction, which included that new companies could participate in the bid.

“Over the years, the NCC has had spectrum auctions and as an independent regulatory agency, has maintained an undisputable reputation of successful auctions based on openness, fairness and transparency, a fact widely acknowledged locally and internationally. NCC’s auction proceedings conform to international best practice, devoid of any undue influence or interference whatsoever,” the commission said in a statement signed by Ike Adinde, Director of Communications, NCC.

Furthermore, the Commission said it instituted a higher standard of integrity and openness in the 5G auction as the process was, for the first time, witnessed by the public both physically and virtually through a link provided by the Commission on its official website.

“The Commission would like to assure Nigerians that, following the successful auction of the 5G spectrum, it is prepared to drive the implementation of the next phase of the deployment of the new technology, in line with the Federal Government’s approved plan, for the benefit of all citizens,” Adinde said.