Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has wielded the big stick and sealed the operational premises of United Bank for Africa (UBA) branch in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state and Hot Minet Services Limited in Calabar, Cross Rivers state.
The companies violated the guidelines for the deployment of 5.4GHz frequency band, according to the telecoms regulator on a nationwide enforcement drive aimed at ensuring that operators conform to specified regulatory guidelines.
Earlier in April, the NCC had issued a public notice warning unlicensed operators and the general public to vacate illegal transmission in the 5.4GHz frequency band within 14 days.
Consequently, and at the expiration of the warning, an enforcement team led by the Director of Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, Mr. Efosa Idehen, went to work. In Calabar and Uyo, the two violators were sanctioned.
Non-type approved equipment used by the operators were confiscated. The NCC declared that the operators’ premises and others found wanting would only be unsealed once they obtain the requisite licence.
The statutory penalty for violation is ‘a fine for the initial fee for the relevant licence; a fine not exceeding 10 times the fee for the relevant licence; imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year; or both fine and imprisonment.’
“It is pertinent to state that it’s a criminal offence to provide service in frequency band not validly assigned or licensed by the Nigerian Communications Commission. This position is supported by the provision of Section 121 and 122 of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003,” said Idehen.