Government reverses NigComSat licence order

17 Jan 2008

The House of Representatives has rescinded an earlier resolution that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) should grant Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NigComSat) a Unified Access Service licence, including spectrum for 3G applications. The House of Representatives made the original order in August last year but subsequently performed a u-turn after it discovered that the NigComSat application did not meet the NCC’s legal requirements. Chairman of the Rural Telephony sub-committee, Ofor Chukwuegbo told reporters, ‘It is true that the House passed a resolution for the NCC to issue a spectrum licence to NigComSat, but there is no way you can ask the NCC to violate the NCC Act. NigComSat did not meet the requirements. They were just theorising about [their own] technical expertise…they could not say that they [satisfied] what is required by NCC or the NCC Act. Non-compliance to the NCC Act cannot be acceptable.’ CEO of the NCC, Ernest Ndukwe said in a submission to the House, ‘The Commission did not issue the spectrum licence to NigComSat, as directed by the President and the House, because we didn’t know who we were giving the licence to.’