House, NCC Agree on Spectrum Licence for NigcomSat

1 Comment » January 23rd, 2008 posted by // Categories: ICT Industry Development Project



House, NCC Agree on Spectrum Licence for NigcomSat

From Stanley Nkwazema in Abuja, 01.23.2008

The House of Representatives  and the management of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), yesterday agreed to issue a Spectrum License to the Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) to operate as a Global Services Systems (GSM) service provider in the Country.

The NCC had insisted that  NIGCOMSAT must be registered as a private owned Company among other things, before the Commission will issue it a license, despite a resolution from the House of Representatives in November last year, giving the Commission a two-week ultimatum to do so.

 The lawmakers and the NCC harmonized the differences on NIGCOMSAT yesterday at the Hearing Room 2 of the National Assembly during a public hearing on the matter, which lasted till late evening, after the representatives of the Ministries of Science and Technology and Communications, all testified.

The representatives who appeared during the hearing which also had the Speaker of the House Honourable Dimeji Bankole   agreed  with the Committees on Communication and Legislative Compliance  that NIGCOMSAT, actually submitted its form to the NCC January 14, 2008, with details of all the requirements for 3G spectrum license.

Though the NCC boss, Ndukwe, earlier assured the Committee that ordinarily, an application form once received and requirements met, the issuance of license follows in a maximum of one month, he pleaded with the House not to push it into taking a decision that would backfire on the nation. Ndukwe’s words: “We would do whatever it takes to comply with the  instruction of the President and the House, however, the House should not force the NCC to do what would cause us problems in the international Community, because once a decision is taken and we are told who to give this license to we will not hesitate to do     so  .” 

The Director General of NIGCOMSAT, Engineer Ahmed Rufai, while answering questions from members of the Committee, said “We have complied. As far as we are concerned we have complied with the requirements for a 3G license. We were asked (by NCC) to make a presentation and we did on December 7, 2008.” A member of the Committee, Honourable Gbenga Oduwaye(Ogun PDP), after an exhaustive deliberation by all stakeholders, warned that the issue needed not drag any longer, as the NCC had not denied the NIGCOMSAT a license to offer telecommunication services in its downstream sector, while the Ministries of Science and Technology and Communications had not said anything to the contrary, deliberations on the matter be closed.The chairman of  the Committee, Honourable  Jerry Manwe (PDP Taraba ), while ruling on the issues said it  needed all documents filled in the NCC application form and details on when the spectrum license will be issued.         

It will be recalled that the House of Representatives had on Wednesday November 15, 2007 passed a resolution in the House calling on the NCC to issue a spectrum license toNIGCOMSAT. The resolution was taken after an ad hoc Committee headed by Representative Leo Ogor(Delta PDP), turned in a damning report on the poor services of GSM service operators in the  Country. The recommendation, had in part, also placed an embargo on the sales of SIM cards by MTN, GLO and other networks, until they improved their services.In a bid to ensure that the Nigeria Communication Commission NCC adheres strictly to  guidelines set for the registration and issuance of licenses, the House of Representatives wants the Nigerian Communication Satellite, NIGCOMSAT, desirous of taking part in providing end-line telecommunication services to follow  Due Process of getting the a approval.

Chairman of the House Committee on Communication Honourable Jerry Manwe confirmed to THISDAY yesterday evening that in as much as the NIGCOMSAT has recorded successes in the provision of satellite  services, the organisation should not circumvent laid down rules and regulations in its bid to get a license from the  NCC.Manwe said the House gave his committee two weeks to report back on the inability of the NCC to comply with the resolution passed  two months ago recommending that NiGCOMSAT be issued a license , he will not be stampeded to recommending sanctions against NCC, without finding out why the organisation had not  complied.He said “ we are still investigating and we invited the two bodies. But we are not going to jump into conclusions. If NIGCOMSAT wants an end-line service license, we have the NCC act and which was passed by the National Assembly.


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One Response to “House, NCC Agree on Spectrum Licence for NigcomSat”

  1. nazyr says:

    Glory be to God, this has finally come to rest- Atleast we would start reaping the dividence of democraccy by enjoying the NIGCOMSAT service and since NCC has agreed to issue the spectrum license which i hope they do, would however go along way in uplifting the statue of Nigerian telecommunication industry.

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