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Thursday, February 08, 2007

NCC debunks non-transparent of MDC license

Apex telecommunications regulator in Nigeria, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has debunked news reports that granting of Unified Access Service License, recently granted to the Mubadala Development Company (MDC) of the United Arab Emirate (UAE).

It would be recalled that the granting of MDC unified license access to the tune of $400 million about N51.4 billion, came unannounced to stakeholders.

But reacting to the speculation of lack of transparency, which was the haul mark of the initial licensing of the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) in the country in 2001, NCC said it was not true that the latest licensing was devoid of transparency.

Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, while refuting this allegation in a chat with correspondent at Owerri, Imo State, recently after commissioning the two Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Parks, furnished and built by Zinox Technologies Limited.

He said that the granting of the license was an outcome of the federal government’s decision, stressing that it is only the federal government that has the authority to grant frequency allocation.

According to him, the decision was that of the government and all NCC has to do was to verify the viability of the company in this area, that is telecommunications.

He emphasised that the decision was capsulated by the recent plans by the government to improve the bilateral relations with the UAE.

He noted that NCC would continue to keep pace with the transparency level it set in 2001, assuring that they would not disappoint Nigerians at this time.

Noteworthy is that MDC met the NCC, requirement to pay the full licensing fee of $400 million within eight days of acquiring the license.

However, confirming this development, Head, Public Affairs at NCC, Mr. Dave Imoko, said that MDC adhered to time by completing payment before the close of business last Friday, January 19, 2007.

As said by him, NCC was pleased to announce the award of a Unified Access Service Licence to Mubadala Development Company of the United Arab Emirates.

This, he said, followed the confirmation of the payment of the full licence fee of $400million.
He also said that the license includes a mobile license and spectrum in the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) on 1800 and 900 Mega Hertz (MHz) bands.

He equally said that the latest license would increase telecommunications offerings nationwide through the award of radio spectrum to MDC.

He reiterated that it was granted based on a bilateral agreement between UAE and Nigeria.
Just as he recalled that the terms of offer specified that Mubadala pay the full license fee on or before 19th January 2007 and failing which, the offer shall automatically lapse.
Mubadala has accepted the terms of the offer made on January 11, in full and in accordance last Friday, made full payment to that effect.

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