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5G Auction: We Didn’t Know of Tinubu’s Link With Mafab, NCC says

5G Auction: We Didn’t Know of Tinubu’s Link With Mafab, NCC says
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The telecoms regulator says it is not aware that ex-Lagos State Governor, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is linked with Mafab Communications Limited, one of the winners of two Nigeria 5G spectrum licences sold on Monday in Abuja.

Technology Times had exclusively reported that Tinubu is among the high-net-worth investors backing the Mafab consortium in a story titled “5G: Mafab, backed by Tinubu, others, to launch mobile network after auction win.”

“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”, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, NCC Public Affairs Director says in a statement made available to Technology Times.

“NCC’s auction proceedings conform to international best practice, devoid of any undue influence or interferences whatsoever.”

Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, NCC Public Affairs Director.

NCC: What We Know About Mafab

According to the telecoms regulator, “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 Communications, NCC says, “is a corporate entity duly licensed by the Commission to conduct telecommunications business. 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.”

Adinde’s statement further says that “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 telecoms regulatory agency’s spokesman says that “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.”

Adinde says that NCC that “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.”

According to him, NCC “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.”

Meanwhile, in the exclusive story, Technology Times reports that it has learnt that Mafab Communications, the winner of one of the two 5G licences sold Monday plans to launch a mobile network operator (MNO) in Nigeria by 2022.

Technology Times authoritatively confirmed that Mafab Communications Limited consortium led by Nigerian tycoon, Dr. Musbahu Mohammad Bashir, Chairman of Althani Group counts high-net-worth Nigerian investors including Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, ex Lagos State Governor and current National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC); Colonel Sanni Bello, former military Governor of Kano State among other investors.

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