Airtel, Mafab and MTN Nigeria have spent about $820.8m to acquire the fifth-generation spectrums.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, disclosed this in his presentation at the 19th edition of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari’s (retd) regime Scorecard 2015 to 2023 series.

A copy of the presentation obtained by our correspondent showed that a 5G policy was launched in January last year.

It was also noted that 5G services were available in at least 225 sites across eight states in Nigeria.

The document read in part, “Our mandate was to focus on the deployment of 4G Networks. However, in line with our commitment to proactiveness and innovation, we had 5G trials, developed a National 5G Policy, auctioned the spectrum and commenced commercial deployment of 5G across Nigeria. His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled and launched the National Policy on the 25th of January, 2022.

“MTN, Mafab and Airtel all have participated in the auction process and each obtained a lot of 100 MHz from the 3.5GHz Spectrum after successfully participating in the auction process. This generated $820.8m for the Federal Government. 5G services are now available in at least 225 sites across 8 states in Nigeria.”

It was also noted that the National 5G policy is designed to ensure the effective deployment of 5G across major urban areas by 2025.

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In December 2021, MTN Nigeria and Mafab Nigeria Communications Limited emerged winners of a 5G auction after about eight hours and 11 rounds of bidding.

Bidding began at $199.37m, as against the reserve price of $197.4m set by the Nigerian Communications Commission.

The auction ended at $273.6m for each available lot, with MTN paying an extra sum of $15.9m to be assigned the preferred lot of Lot One, while Mafab was assigned Lot Two, at no extra cost.

In October last year, the NCC set the reserve price for its new 5G spectrums at $273.60m, with a plan to issue two more 5G licences.

Airtel Network Limited emerged as the sole bidder for its 3.5GHz spectrum band for 5G deployment in January this year.

Speaking on Friday in Abuja at the one-day ministerial retreat organised by the Federal Government for the management and board members of Nigerian Communication Satellite,  stressed the need for revenue-generating agencies to come up with innovative ways to create revenue without depending on the Federal Government.

He noted that the government is not happy paying salaries of government-owned agencies that are revenue-generating.

He said, “Government cannot continue to pay salaries revenue generating agencies and companies. NigComSat must come up with new strategies to increase revenue generation.”

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He urged the staff to give the board and management the needed support to make NigComSat a self-sustaining government company.


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