Senate to probe alleged sale of Police frequency band by NCC

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By Tony Edike

ENUGU—THE Chairman, Senate Committee on Communications, Senator Gilbert Nnaji, said, yesterday, that his committee was currently investigating the face-off between the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, and Nigeria Police Force over the controversial sale of 450 Mhz Frequency Band belonging to the police.

Senator Nnaji, who is on a constituency visit as part of the Sallah break, dropped the hint at his Enugu Constituency Office while playing host to the people of his senatorial district.

He said the committee had already directed Executive Vice Chairman of NCC to immediately furnish it with the detailed report while invitations had been sent out to the Inspector-General of Police and the Managing Director of OpenSky Limited to appear before the committee to shed more light on the purported sale which is already generating public concern across the nation.

Nnaji, who is also the Senator representing Enugu-East Senatorial District, described the intervention of the legislative committee as very essential and timely if the ugly trend must be nipped in the bud.

He also warned that the committee would not spare any person(s) found culpable in the matter.

It would be recalled that the Ministry of Police Affairs had alleged in the media that NCC re-sold the 450MHz spectrum licence originally allocated to the police to a private firm known as OpenSkys Limited.

Police authorities claimed that the sale of the particular frequency which was meant to support police security communications gadgets had made it extremely difficult for the police to roll out its security-based services on the frequency.

The Police further claimed that the 450MHz frequency valued at over $50million, and which had been occupied by the police since 2009 was sold for commercial purposes to OpenSkys Limited for less than $6 million by NCC in September 2011.

According to the police, the sale neither put national security into consideration especially at such a critical time that insecurity was posing a great challenge to the nation nor the bidding followed due process as provided by the NCC Act 200.

But the NCC debunked the allegation by the police describing it as mere misconception of how frequencies are sold and allotted by the commission, insisting that the commission followed due administrative and management processes in the sale of the frequency.

The commission added that although the sale was in compliance with a presidential directive, police authorities were carried along in the entire process pointing out also that the sale did not in any way incur a loss to the federal government.

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