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3.5GHz Spectrum: MTN, Mafab Pay for Licences

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Nasiru Yusuf

 

 

 

 

Provisional winners of the 3.5 Gigahertz (GHz) spectrum licence, MTN Communications Nigeria Plc and Mafab Communications Limited, have made their full payment of $273.6 million each for the 5G Spectrum license to the Nigerian Communications Commission.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Umar Danbatta, officially confirmed the payment status on Thursday just as the deadline set for the two winners of the spectrum auction elapsed.

According to statement issued by the commission’s Director, Public Affairs Ikechukwu Adinde on Friday, it said as part of the auction process emplaced by the Commission in the Information Memorandum (IM), three companies, namely MTN Nigeria, Mafab Communications Ltd and Airtel Networks Ltd submitted bids with an initial bid deposit (IBD) of $19.74 million, representing 10 per cent of the Reserve Price of the 3.5GHz Spectrum by the close of the Bid submission date of November 29, 2021.

Following the successful auction on December 13, 2021 and the emergence of MTN and Mafab as winners, they were required to pay the balance of the bid amount of $253.86 million on or before February 24, 2022.

However, aside the $273.6 million payment, MTN paid additional $15.9 million, being the bidding sum it offered at the assignment state of the spectrum auction, making it clinch its preferred Lot 1 (3500-3600 Megahertz-MHz) in the 3.5Ghz spectrum; while, Mafab Communications, which bided lower at the assignment stage, consequentially settled with Lot 2 (3700-3800Mhz) at no extra cost.

Confirming the payments by the two licensees, Danbatta said: “I wish to officially announce that NCC has received and confirmed payments from MTN and Mafab for their acquisition of 1 slot of 100Mhz each in the 3.5Ghz spectrum auction, which was successfully conducted by the Commission on December 13, 2021. They both met the deadline of February 24, 2022 as set by the Commission”.

“Arising from this and on behalf of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, the Board and Management of the NCC, I wish to congratulate the MTN and Mafab for this feat, as we look forward to accomplishing other deployment timelines in the 5G deployment roadmap, as articulated in the National Policy on 5G Networks for Nigeria’s Digital Economy”, Danbatta stated.

For meeting the payment deadline, Danbatta has commended the two companies for their commitment to 5G deployment drive through their private investments, which he said, was a demonstration of the licensees’ belief in the sound regulatory environment in the Nigerian telecommunications sector.

Danbatta also expressed appreciation to the Federal Government for its support and commitment to the deployment of 5G technology in Nigeria which, he said, will bring substantial network improvements, including higher connection speed, mobility and capacity, as well as low-latency capabilities to communications services in Nigeria.

The Commission published a Public Notice on its decision to award two lots of 100MHz Time Division Duplex (TDD) available in the 3.5 GHz band through an auction process, to support the delivery of ubiquitous broadband services for the deployment of 5G technology in Nigeria.

Subsequently, an Information Memorandum (IM) was issued on November 10, 2021, in which Bid Applications for the available spectrum lots were invited. By the deadline for receipt of applications on November 29, 2021, the Commission received applications from three licensed telecommunications companies, namely: Airtel Networks Limited, Mafab Communications Limited, and MTN Communications Nigeria Plc.

The Auction held successfully on Monday, December 13, 2021 at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja with the three bidders competing for the available two lots in which the Commission adopted the Ascending Clock Auction format that ended after Round 11, and proceeded to the Assignment Stage.

In the auction, MTN and Mafab emerged provisional licence winners and arising from this, the winning bid price for the auction was put at $273.6 million for each lot of 100 MHz TDD. The Provisional licence winners were then directed to pay the Winning Bid Price less the Intention-to-Bid Deposit, by February 24, 2022.

Industry stakeholders and observers have commended the Commission for the auction process, described as efficient, fair, well-organised and transparent; as well as designed to deliver the ideal outcome which saw the strongest bidders emerge as winners, raising a substantial amount for the Federal Government and setting the stage for the next phase in Nigeria’s 5G roadmap.

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Gov. Abba Kabir Urges Security Agencies to Quell Thuggery in Kano

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Kano State Governor, Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf, has beseeched security agencies operating within the state to promptly bring an end to Thuggery and other malevolent activities that are disrupting peace in specific areas of the Kano metropolis.

The Governor gives this directives at the commencement of the 15th weekly meeting of the Kano State Executive Council held at the Government House.

This was contained in a statement issued by the governor’s spokesperson, Sanusi Bature Dawakin Tofa, on Saturday.

Governor Abba Kabir expressed disapproval of the recent upsurge in Thuggery and clashes involving Yan daba, affirming that the government will not passively observe while unscrupulous elements endanger the relative tranquility and harmony enjoyed by the law-abiding citizens of the state.

He reiterated that under his administration, the state government is diligently collaborating with relevant security agencies to ensure the safety and security of the populace and their possessions at all times.

Furthermore, Governor Abba Kabir cautioned Judges against the unwarranted release of thugs, emphasizing the threat they pose to the welfare of the state’s residents and stressing the importance of prompt and equitable dispensation of justice.

Alhaji Abba Kabir also instructed security agencies to strictly adhere to their mandated duty of safeguarding the lives and properties of the citizens they serve, warning against involvement in matters beyond their designated responsibilities.

He implored the populace in the state to continue with their lawful pursuits, assuring that the government will persevere in its commitment to ensuring their protection, and requested ongoing support and cooperation for the current administration.

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Emirate Tussle: Prof. Yadudu Faults Justice Liman’s Ruling, Says Judgement not Helpful For The Judicial Process

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Reacting to the ruling, renowned constitutional lawyer, Professor Auwalu Yadudu, told Daily Trust that the judge’s pronouncements were strange and baffling by approbating and reprobating in the same breath.

He said the development was not helpful for the judicial process, stressing that the judge assuming jurisdiction on the fundamental human rights aspect and refusing the same on the validity of the substance of the case–the Kano emirates law–has “muddled up the case, and it is very unbecoming of a judge who has now been elevated to the Court of Appeal”.

Professor Yadudu clarified that while he was not accusing the judge of any impropriety, the pronouncements were unbecoming. “How can you say the actions taken in pursuant of a law are set aside, and then say you are not delving into the validity of the said law?” he queried.
Prof. Yadudu said further that the judge had more or less held that he lacked jurisdiction on the issue by transferring the case to another judge, but still went ahead to set aside the governor’s actions.

He said that the ex-parte order should no longer be of any currency because it is being challenged at the Appeal Court, and the judge himself admitted knowledge of this by granting a stay of proceedings and also deciding not to grant an order to nullify the law.

“All these are avoidable. It is not helpful for the judicial process. It is strange and doesn’t speak well of the judge. The question of whether the governor’s actions came before and after the exparte order is a question of fact or evidence. It seems from the record that the order came after,” he said.

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Governing council: ASUU BUK rejects Gawuna’s appointment, favours Udoma’s return

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

 

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Bayero University Kano, BUK chapter during the weekend rejected the appointment of Kano top flight politician, Dr Nasiru Gawuna into the Governing Council of the second generation tertiary Institution.

 

KANO FOCUS reports that the Chairperson, Prof. Ibrahim Tajo Suraj said that the process that led to the appointment of politicians into the Governing Council of the nation’s citadel of learning contravened the relevant laws that guided such appointment.

 

Addressing newsmen in its secretariat, Comrade Siraj explained that “I must admit that we are not happy over the decision of the federal government to appoint hard core politicians into the Governing Council.

 

Prof. Siraj stressed that “the criteria for such appointments is explicitly clear, as it favoured the appointment of technocrats, academic to the Council”.

 

The Chairperson maintained that the sack of former Council with a constitutional mandate of

4 years tenure, after one year in office was a rape on the rule of law.

 

He therefore called on the federal government to reinstate Senator Udo Udoma led Governing Council to complete their term in the interests of the rule of law

 

Siraj stressed that “the scenario is just like sacking an executive governor of a state after just one in office, and you went ahead to assume that all is normal, no, this is rape on the rule of law.”

 

Ibrahim Tajo Suraj, earlier had led (ASUU), Bayero University Kano branch, on a peaceful protest on Friday demanding the federal government to pay their entitlements and implement the 2009 ASUU/FG Agreement.

 

Prof. Ibrahim Tajo Suraj, said the action was in compliance with the directive by the national body to all its branches to organize protests within their campuses on account of the federal government’s failure to pay their entitlements.

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