By Hillary Asemota
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), on Wednesday said the Commission is not aware that Mafab Communications Ltd, one of the winners in the just concluded 3.5 GHz spectrum auction was wholly or partly owned by the APC national leader, Senator Ahmed Tinubu.
According to the Commission’s Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, he averred that it was in the course of its routine media review that NCC became aware of publications in some online media channels alleging the involvement of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
He said: “It bears restating that, consistent with the Commission’s long-established regulatory culture and tradition, the process leading to the auction of the 5G spectrum was open, fair and transparent in the most, as the public auction followed a rigorous due process and was witnessed by a cross-section of stakeholders as observers, including the media, the Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) as well as civil society groups.”
Mafab, Adinde, added is a corporate entity duly licensed by the Commission to conduct telecommunications business, explaining that the company, which is in good regulatory standing with the Commission, currently holds international data access (IDA), inter-connect data exchange (IDE) and Value-Added Service (VAS) licences.
According to him, it is pertinent to state that the Information Memorandum (IM) for the auction of the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum clearly set out eligibility criteria for participation of interested bidders in the auction, which included that new companies could participate in the bid.
He said, over the years, NCC has had spectrum auctions and as an independent regulatory agency, has maintained an undisputable reputation of successful auctions based on openness, fairness and transparency, a fact widely acknowledged locally and internationally. NCC’s auction proceedings conform to international best practice, devoid of any undue influence or interferences whatsoever.
A higher standard of integrity and openness was emplaced in the 5G auction as the process was, for the first time, witnessed by the public both physically and virtually through a link provided by the Commission on its official website.
The Commission would like to assure Nigerians that, following the successful auction of the 5G spectrum, it is prepared to drive the implementation of the next phase of the deployment of the new technology, in line with the federal government’s approved plan, for the benefit of every Nigerian.