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Monday, July 16, 2012

Illegal frequency: NCC closes 2 branches of First Bank

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has on Monday closed the New Ring Road Branch of First Bank of Nigeria in Ibadan, and the Aladbaka branch of the same bank in Akure, over illegal use of the 5.40 Gega Hertz (GHz) frequency band, which is licensable in Nigeria. 

According to the Head, Media and Public Relations at NCC, Mr. Reuben Muoka in a press statement made available to ITRealms Online, quoted the enforcement team of the Commission, led by Mr. Efosa Idehen as having stormed both banks, revealed that the frequencies are being illegally used at the banks.

Also, Idehen said had served these bank officials with warrants of arrests for illegal use of licensable frequencies, thereby denying the Federal Government the revenues accruable from these resources.
The enforcement action, which was carried out with the security personnel, paralyzed activities at both branches of the banks as the disappointed customers were forced out of the premises of the banks at mid day.

Idehen said, the use of illegal frequency band by the bank is against the prescriptions of the Communications Act 2003.

He pointed out that at Ibadan, officials of the bank mounted resistance to the enforcement activities resulting in its Operation Manager being arrested and taken to the Iyaganku Police station by the police for obstructing the activities of the enforcement team of the Commission and refusing to lead them to the bank’s server room, to enable them isolate the equipment.

“The case was different at Akure branch where the officials of the bank fully cooperated with the enforcement team of NCC,” he said.

Further, Mr. Idehen said that the Commission has forewarned all those transmitting illegally on these channels through public notices in the media and that those in contravention would be persecuted.

He said the exercise is a continuous one from the one already carried out in various states of the Federation and wondered why some of the banks are still illegally using these frequencies when they were not licensed to operate on them.

As said by him, it appears the banks are the major culprits in the illegal use of frequencies in the 5.40Ghz spectrum band.

Particularly on Ibadan branch case, Mr. Idehen said the bank will remain shut until the 5.40GHz equipments are isolated and the indoor and outdoor units removed from the bank and taken to the police station. 

He commended the police for their support to the Commission to sanitize the air space, stressing that the 5.40GHz is meant for data communication and could only be issued by companies licensed by the Nigerian communications Commission.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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