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NCC Shuts Firms Over Breach Of Regulatory Guidelines

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has sealed the premises of some telecom companies in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, and Calabar in Cross River State, for violating the guidelines for the deployment of 5.4GHz frequency band in the states.

The Commission had on 3rd April, 2018 issued a public notice, based on the guidelines for the deployment of service in the 5.4GHz frequency band, warning unlicensed operators to stop illegal transmission in the 5.4GHz frequency band within 14 days.

The affected companies were alleged to have violated the guidelines, despite the warnings by the industry regulator.

According to the commission, the latest sanctions of the companies is part of its nationwide enforcement drive aimed at ensuring that operators conform to specified regulatory guidelines.

The enforcement team, led by the Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, Mr. Efosa Idehen, had on April 26 and 27, 2018 clampdown on the affected entities for allegedly violating the commission’s  guidelines for the deployment of service in the 5.4GHz frequency band.

Specifically, the team visited Akwa Ibom and Cross River states to shut down the operations of Hot Minet Services in Calabar and United Bank for Africa (UBA) branch, located at Udo Udoma Banking layout, Uyo.

It also confiscated the non-type approved equipment used by the operators in providing the alleged illegal services, ordering the affected companies to obtain the requisite licence before their premises would be unsealed.

The team leader explained: “It is pertinent to state that it’s a criminal offence to provide service in frequency band not validly assigned or licensed by the Nigerian Communications Commission. This position is supported by the provisions of Sections 121 and 122 of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003.”

“The punishment for the said violation is a fine for the initial fee for the relevant licence; a fine not exceeding ten times the fee for the relevant licence; imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year; or both such fine and imprisonment”, Idehen added.

He hinted that some suspects had been handed over to the relevant security agencies for investigation and possible prosecution.

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