MTN Gets N221m Waiver on Telecoms Permit Fee in Kano

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BY Emma Okonji

MTN Nigeria has got a whopping N221 million waiver on telecoms permit fee in Kano following the timely intervention of the telecoms regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), THISDAY has learnt.

Sources close to NCC told THISDAY that the timely intervention by the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, secured a permit fee waiver of a N221 million for MTN Nigeria in Kano State.

One of the sources said a similar intervention by the NCC boss in Ogun State last year resulted in unsealing of 47 base stations under lock and key,  while the state Governor,  Ibikunle Amosun,  also reduced ground rent fee owed by IHS Towers from N370 million to N120 million.

THISDAY gathered that some staff of Huwawei, working on telecommunication infrastructure expansion in Kano State on behalf of MTN Nigeria, were arrested by the officials of government agency, Kano State Urban Planning and Development Authority (KANUPDA), a development which put a final stop to the project.

The situation could have adverse effects on service quality experience among millions of service subscribers in the state and beyond before it was swiftly nipped in the bud.

It was further gathered that  Danbatta made an unscheduled visit to the state Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, and  the government magnanimously waived the permit fee of N221 million for deployment of fibre infrastructure in that state.

Danbatta, was said to have convinced the governor about the economic advantages that the state stands to gain from deployment of more telecommunications infrastructure  as well the potential quality of service concern that millions of service subscribers would face if the work was further delayed.

In a letter signed by its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Bashir Mudi Adamu, and addressed to MTN, the agency, however, said the waiver of permit fees was granted in respect of two federal roads, Zaria road and Maiduguri road in the state.

Strategic collaboration and partnership with other relevant agencies and stakeholders is a key component of the eight-point agenda that the NCC boss unveiled last year, and this may have necessitated the intervention of NCC in the matter affecting MTN Nigeria.