Subscribe to industry newsletters

Advertise on Bizcommunity

A stormy frequency

Unlike his predecessor, the current executive vice chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr Eugene Ikemefuna Juwah, is a taciturn man. Though friendly and brilliant, the NCC boss does not address journalists every now and then except on occasions when serious industry issue crops up. On such occasion, a different Juwah is seen blowing hot, invoking NCC Act to buttress his stance.
Now, the NCC executive vice chairman is at the middle of a frequency allocation storm and he has been speaking loudly on it.

'Frequency racketeering'

It was alleged that some top staff of NCC engaged in frequency racketeering, selling a frequency slot belonging to the Nigerian Police to a private firm, OpenSkys.

The current leadership of the commission was also to have issued frequencies to a company, Smile Communications without due process.

NCC denies allegation

But the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has denied that its management engaged in frequency band racketeering, saying due process was followed in allocating frequency to companies.

The telecoms regulatory agency said in a statement that "there is no truth in both allegations."

NCC's spokesman, Reuben Mouka said the frequencies allocated to OpenSkys and Smile Communications are in two frequency different bands, and followed a due process for similar frequencies at the commission, and began since 2009.

He said the frequency spectrum allocated to the police by the commission is intact and has not in any way affected by the allocation.

'Frequency allocation controversy good for the industry'

Some telecoms industry analysts who spoke with Daily Trust on the issue yesterday said the NCC frequency racketeering controversy is good for the telecoms industry.

Deolu Ogunbanjo, who leads a telecoms right group, said as far as he is concerned the allegations would make NCC to sit up and be more transparent. "Though NCC has brought facts to explain and pooh-pooh the allegations, I believe they(NCC) are right but next they should try and carry everybody along in its sale and bidding process. If the whistle blower had been carried along, they would not be washing their dirty linen outside."

Source: allAfrica