NCC confirms MTN’s payment of $96 million for broadband spectrum

By Abimbola Fashakin, Lagos 

The Nigerian Communications Commission NCC has confirmed the payment of $96 million by telecommunications giant, MTN, for the purchase of 2.6GHz spectrum auction carried out in the second quarter of the year. A statement from the office of the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta noted that MTN paid for 5MHz of 6 slots of 30MHz during the auction.

The statement signed by the Danbatta’s Media aide, Yakubu Musa, however said that the comment credited to the EVC during his visit to the governor of Kano state, Dr Umar Ganduje “was not the accurate representation of what he said.” 

“Our attention has been drawn to media reports quoting  the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar GarbaDanbatta, as saying that the NCC “has realised over N1.4 trillion in the first quarter of 2016”, and “the funds generated was part of their contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). 

“The ECV was reported to have made the disclosure during a courtesy call to Kano State Governor on Wednesday, July 13, 2016. 

“We wish to however unequivocally state that what a section of media attributed to him was not the accurate representation of what he said at Kano State Government House on Wednesday”, said the statement. 

It said further: “To set the record straight, the EVC was only quoting a recent report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), which puts the entire contribution of the telecommunications sector to the GDP, during the period under review, at N1.4 trillion and thus not funds generated by the Commission as alluded by the reports. 

“In fact, this was not the first time the EVC was referring to the NBS report at a function and the media, including the respected newspapers, which erroneously published the story, had always reported him accurately. 

“Yet the NCC has been in the vanguard of generating non-oil revenue for the nation and under the leadership of its current EVC, it has just realized $ 96 million for the Federal Government from a successful auctioning of 2.6GHz spectrum, which MTN Nigeria paid for 5 MHz of 6 slots of 30MHz. 

“Similarly, the commission has remitted the sum of N70 billion to the federation account from December 2015 to March 2016. 

“These and many more, including the N1.4 trillion telecom sector contribution to the GDP, are no doubt parts of significant feats under Danbatta’s leadership”.

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