*Begins NIN registration in retail outlets
By Prince Osuagwu & Juliet Umeh
Telecom operator, Airtel Africa, on Thursday, said it had renewed its 900 and 1800 Megahertz, MHZ spectrum licence fees for a 10-year period, paying N71.6 billion to the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC.
This is also as the telco begins registration of its subscribers for the National Identity Number, NIN, in outlets across the country.
According to the telco, the NCC approved the renewal of spectrum licences in 900 and 1800 Megahertz, MHZ, for its subsidiary Airtel Nigeria.
Spectrums are unique radio frequencies used for telecommunication over the airwaves.
Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Africa, Raghunath Mandava, said the spectrum licences were due to expire on November 30, 2021.
He said following the application, NCC subsequently offered Airtel Nigeria the opportunity to renew the licences in 900MHz and 1800MHz bands for a period of 10 years with effect from December 1, 2021, until November 30, 2031, which the company accepted.
Mandava said that under the terms of the spectrum licences, Airtel Nigeria had paid N 71.6 billion ($189m) in respect of the licence renewal fees.
He said: “I am pleased to announce that our application in Nigeria to renew our spectrum licences in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands for a 10-year period, has been approved by the NCC.
“This is our largest market and we remain focused on bridging the digital divide and expanding our broadband capability in the country.
“On behalf of Airtel Nigeria and the Group, I would like to thank both the government of Nigeria and the NCC for their cooperation and support in this important process,” he said.
The telco also announced that it has commenced the NIN registration exercise in its retail outlets across the country.
This is following Federal Government’s approval for the telco to register citizens.
Airtel says while select retail outlets in Lagos and Abuja are now fully operational to register Nigerians for the NIN exercise, work is currently ongoing to expand its NIN footprints to cover more areas and States.
Some of the centres where it is currently registering subscribers for NIN include Transcorp Hilton Abuja, Airtel showrooms at Carpet Plaza and Kano Crescent in Wuse 2.
Others are Airtel Express Point, Victoria Island; Airtel showroom in Surulere, Lagos; Airtel showroom, Yaba; Airtel showroom Ogba and the Airtel showroom, Oba Akran, Ikeja.
Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, commended the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Ali Pantami, for expanding the registration footprints and taking definitive steps to make the NIN registration process easy for Nigerians.
“Airtel is always seeking opportunities to cooperate and partner with the Nigerian government on initiatives that will make life easier and better for Nigerians.
“As a law-abiding and responsible corporate citizen, we are always ready to go extra-mile for our esteemed stakeholders and that is why we are pleased to partner with the Federal Government and the National Identity Management Commission on citizens’ registration exercise,” he said.