The executive vice chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Danbatta the commission’s technical evaluation of the bid process for the sale of 9Mobile, Nigeria’s fourth largest mobile operator, would eventually determine who emerges the new owner of the network.
Speaking at his annual press conference held in Lagos yesterday, Danbatta while answering questions on the telecom industry said, the process to sale 9Mobile involves both financial and technical evaluations. According to him, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is in charge of the financial while NCC handled the technical component.
Responding to questions on the controversy that has rocked the 9Mobile sale so far, Danbatta said the licence and spectrum of 9Mobile can only be transferred to a preferred bidder after the technical evaluation. “Both CBN and NCC are to ensure that whoever emerges meets the financial and technical capacity to run the company.
“NCC insists on technical evaluation of whoever emerges. The licence and operational spectrum will not be transferred if a preferred bidder falls short of the technical evaluation of NCC. So far, NCC is yet to conduct the technical evaluation,” he said.
Responding to the protracted licence issue involving MTN Nigeria use of 700MHz spectrum secured from the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Danbatta said the NCC has sent a proposal to the Minister of Communication who is the chairman of the National Frequency Management Board and he approved that the spectrum should be used by MTN purely for telecommunications services.
Danbatta also speaking on the plans to spread broadband diffusion across the country, said NCC would not relent in leading Nigeria to that destination of pervasive broadband services, noting that within three years of his administration, NCC has made satisfactory progress towards realising the objectives of the five-year eight point agenda.
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