The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said it is not aware Mafab Communications Limited, one of the winners of the 5G spectrum sold by the Commission in a public auction conducted few days ago in Abuja is owned by Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former Governor of Lagos State.
Some online media platforms have alleged that the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum auction process was manipulated by the federal government through the NCC to favour Mafab Communications, purportedly owned by Sen. Tinubu as a political settlement.
But NCC in a statement signed by its Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde denied knowing any involvement of the APC Chieftain, saying 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.
The regulatory agency of federal government explained that Mafab Communications Limited is a corporate entity duly licensed by the Commission to conduct telecommunications business. It said 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.
The statement reads: “In the course of its routine media review, today, December 15, 2021, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) became aware of publications in some online media channels alleging the involvement of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former Governor of Lagos State, in Mafab Communications Limited, one of the winners of the 5G spectrum sold by the Commission in a public auction conducted on Monday, December 13, 2021, at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.
“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.
“Over the years, the 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 all citizens”.