Mobile Week with GSM

June 21, 2009

Decision to cancel 2.3Ghz license, not Akunyili’s, says Information Ministry

By  Prince Osuagwu

Reports that the  Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili unilaterally cancelled the sale of the 2.3GHz frequency band was at the weekend, debunked by the Ministry, describing it as being far from the truth.

Information from close sources to the ministry, revealed that the decision to cancel the frequency spectrum was unanimously  taken at a meeting of all stakeholders which was held on May 22, 2009.

Dora Akunyili

Dora Akunyili

The ministry said that the meeting was as a result of the directive from the President, Umaru Yar’Adua that all the stakeholders involved in the controversial sale of the spectrum band should meet and resolve the matter.
Minutes of the meeting, made available to Vanguard, showed that the Honourable Minister Information and Communications, Professor Dora Akunyili; the Honourable Minister of State for Information and Communications, Alhaji Aliyu Bilbis; Chairman of the NCC, Ahmed Joda; the Permanent Secretary (FMIC), Dr Abubakar Mohammed; the Director General of the National  Broadcasting Corporation, Engineer Yomi Bolarinwa; and the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Ernest Ndukwe were at the meeting.
Part of the minute, although not endorsed or ratified by any of the attendees of the meeting, however showed that it was agreed  at the meeting that the release of  the 2.3 GHz radio frequency was not ratified by the National Frequency Management Council, NFMC.

Ministry sources also revealed that it was agreed at the meeting that the process leading to the purported sale of the frequency spectrum should be cancelled and all the monies collected should be returned to their owners.
According to the Ministry sources “it was in line with the decisions reached at that meeting that the NFMC officially met on May 26, 2009  and released the 2.3GHz Spectrum to the NCC, and subsequently a press release was signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr Abubakar officially announce the spectrum to NCC in compliance with the NCC Act 2003″.