CSNAC mentioned various allegations of financial impropriety against the NCC.
A civil society group, Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to investigate the shady sales of Telecommunication Spectrum by the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) that are alleged to have resulted in a loss of about N53 billion revenue to the government.
A statement released on Thursday by Chairman of CSNAC, Olarenwaju Suraju, stated that during the tenure of sacked executive commissioner of the NCC, Bashir Gwandu, the telecommunication regulatory body sold three valuable Spectrum licences for pittance.
First, NCC sold a 450MHz Spectrum worth over N7.5 billion ($50 million) to OpenSky limited, an unlicensed company believed to be owned by controversial business mogul, Emeka Offor, for N900 million ($6 million), the group said.
The statement also claimed that there is an allegation that the NCC granted a dubious waiver of N1 billion to a telecommunication company, MTS. According to the statement, the waiver was personally applied for by the Minister of Communication, Omobola Johnson. It was also alleged that after this waiver was granted, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Eugene Juwah, got some “sweet shares” from MTS.
CSNAC stated further that a 10MHz slot in the 800MHz Spectrum was sold to a South African owned company, Smile Nigeria Communication Limited for N2.5 billion (13million Euros) when similar spectrum in Europe is valued at over 1 billion Euros.
According to CSNAC money lost by the government from the deals is “estimated to be sufficient for the provision of 60 international standard hospitals across the country.”
The organisation said selling these licenses for pittance will stifle competition as it gives the beneficiaries an undue edge over other investors in the industry.
“It is a wonder that the Nigerian government will be willing to lose billions in revenue without proper investigation of these allegations especially where the government has had to borrow to finance its budget,” CSNAC stated.
It therefore called on the EFCC to thoroughly investigate these allegations with the aim of retrieving the monies lost through the ‘dubious’ deals.