NCC Demands Additional Spectrum Allocation As 5G Is Set To Roll 

NCC to auction 5G Spectrum by Q4 of 2021 — Danbatta

Yemisi Izuora

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has stated the readiness of the Agency to activate the 5G technology in Nigeria.

What seem to be a minor challenge is allocation of additional spectrum by the National Frequency Management Council, NFMC.

According to Danbatta, “On the 5G, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has spoken about the Federal Government’s position to deploy as soon as possible.

“Our state of readiness is very high. There’s an Auction Committee for 5G with a deployment plan ready. As you know, without a plan you cannot have a successful deployment.”

“All we are asking is additional spectrum to be allocated by the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC).”

The EVC, said the telecoms regulator is ready activate the government’s decision in this regard, just as he lauded the thriving healthy competition in the Nigerian telecommunications industry, which he said has reduced the prices of data in the country.

Danbatta who fielded questions from Mr. Bitrus Bako Nabasu, new Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, during a presentation on Wednesday, August 25, 2021, in Abuja, FCT, observed that the Commission as a Federal agency has always aligned its position and plan with the Federal Government.

The Commission said that the EVC’s presentation touched on the enabling laws and mandates of NCC, its structure as well his scorecards among others.

Danbatta said some of these spectrums being demanded from the NFMC, are ready but we have to get the Federal Government’s approval to go ahead with the auctions.

While intimating Mr. Nabasu with the Commission’s forthcoming book launch, scheduled for early next month, the EVC noted that the book, which is technical in nature, will provide more insight into the workings of the telecoms regulator under his watch.

“I have spoken about the first Strategic Vision Plan (SVP), comprising 8 agenda items. The SVP has come to the end, and we have written a book providing documented progress we have made while implementing it.

“I am pleased to inform you that the book will be unveiled on 7th September, 2021,” said he.

Danbatta also commended Dr. Pantami for his efforts at resolving some of the perennial challenges in the industry, especially the Right of Way (RoW) charges.

The NCC CEO urged governments at every level in Nigeria to respect the resolution of the National Economic Council (NEC) on the harmonised RoW charges so as to enable the industry to continue to grow and prosper.

He further stated: “The Commission will continue to put in its best in the discharge of its mandate, especially in facilitating the deployment of broadband infrastructure, which is central to diversifying the Nigerian economy and national development.

“It’s our belief also that the communications industry, under the leadership of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, will experience more quantum leap and retain its current flagship role in the telecommunication space.”

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