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MTN, Mafab Pay N234.5bn To FG For 5G Licences– NCC

Oluwasina Phillip

MTN Communication Nigeria PLC and Mafab Mafab Communications Limited have paid $563.1m which is an equivalent of N234.5bn for the 3.5 Gigahertz (GHz) spectrum licences won back in 2021.

Both companies paid  $273.6mn (N113.92bn)  each for the 5G Spectrum license to the Nigerian Communications Commission, according to a statement signed by Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde Director, Public Affairs of the NCC.

The NCC also received additional $15.9mn (N6.62bn ) as the bidding sum it offered at the assignment state of the spectrum auction to help it secure its preferred Lot 1 (3500-3600 Megahertz-MHz) in the 3.5Ghz spectrum.

Mafab Communications bid lower at the assignment stage, hence settled with Lot 2 (3700-3800Mhz) at no extra cost.

Airtel Networks Limited, Mafab Communications Limited and MTN Communications Nigeria Limited competed in the bidding which was held on December 13, 2021.

The winning bid price for the auction was $273,600,000 for each lot of 100 MHz TDD, however, only MTN and Mafab Communications Ltd emerged successful.

Airtel listed an exit bid of $270,000,000. The winners had up to February 24 to make the full payment.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, officially confirmed the payment status.

Recall that as part of the auction process emplaced by the Commission in the Information Memorandum (IM), three companies, namely MTN Nigeria, Mafab Communications Ltd and Airtel Networks Ltd submitted bids with an initial bid deposit (IBD) of $19.74mn, representing 10 per cent of the Reserve Price of the 3.5GHz Spectrum by the close of the Bid submission date of November 29, 2021.

Danbatta said: “I wish to officially announce that NCC has received and confirmed payments from MTN and Mafab for their acquisition of 1 slot of 100Mhz each in the 3.5Ghz spectrum auction, which was successfully conducted by the Commission on December 13, 2021. They both met the deadline of February 24, 2022 as set by the Commission.

“Arising from this and on behalf of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, the Board and Management of the NCC, I wish to congratulate the MTN and Mafab for this feat, as we look forward to accomplishing other deployment timelines in the 5G deployment roadmap, as articulated in the National Policy on 5G Networks for Nigeria’s Digital Economy.”

The EVC however commended the companies for meeting the deadline.

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