Senator Gilbert Nnaji, Chairman, Senate Committee on Communications
By Francis Ugwoke
The Senate Committee on Communications has waded into the controversial sale of 450 MHz Frequency Band allegedly belonging to the Police by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
The Senate Committee Chairman on Communications, Senator Gilbert Nnaji said weekend that the committee is already investigating the face-off between the NCC and the Nigeria Police Force over the controversial sale of 450 Mhz Frequency Band.
Senator Nnaji who just returned from the ITU TELECOM WORLD conference held in United Arab Emirate, Dubai, was said to have hinted that his Committee wants to get to the root of the matter.
In a statement sent to THISDAY by his Media Adviser, Mr Egbo Mon-Charles, the Committee has already directed the NCC Executive Chairman, Dr. Eugene Juwah to furnish it with a detailed report on the issue.
The statement said that the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar and the Managing Director of OpenSky Limited have been invited to appear before the committee to shed more light on the purported sale which is already generating public concern across the nation.
Nnaji described as unfortunate development a situation where government agencies engage in avoidable confrontations and media war over issues that could be amicably resolved in-house.
He stressed that such embarrassing and unnecessary feud was capable of undermining every effort of government to stem the rising tide of insecurity in the country and also raise the revenue profile of Nigeria.
Nnaji who is also the senator representing Enugu-East Senatorial District described the intervention of the legislative committee as very necessary and timely if this ugly trend must be nipped in the bud.
He also warned that the committee would not spare any person or persons found culpable in the matter.
It would be recalled that the Ministry of Police Affairs had alleged that the NCC re-sold the 450MHz spectrum licence to OpenSkys Limited, after it initially sold the same frequency licence to the Nigerian Police which had occupied the frequency since 2009
The frequency which is valued at over $50million was reported to have been sold for less than $6million by the . Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Dr Eugene Juwah September last year.
NCC’s Director of Public Affiars, Mr. Tony Ojobo, was reported to have insisted that the sale of the 450MHz frequency to OpenSkys Limited was in compliance with the Nigerian Communications Act, and in full implementation of a presidential directive of 5th July, 2007. .
But critics have maintained that the sale was done without consideration to national security for which the Police represents.