NCC confiscates Ecobank's radio equipment in Benin


The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Friday confiscated some telecommunications equipment, owned by a branch of Ecobank along Akpapkava Road in Benin, for alleged breach of NCC’s frequency regulation.

Reuben Muoka, Head, Media and Public Relations of the NCC, told reporters in Benin that NCC’s officials visited the bank as part of the agency’s enforcement drive.

“We are at Ecobank on Akpapkava Road in continuation of our enforcement of contraventions of frequencies of megahertz bands that are licensable.”

He said that many institutions, especially banks, were guilty of using frequencies without authorisation.

The NCC spokesman said the commission had previously, placed public notices to warn the institutions to desist from illegally using unauthorised frequencies but had discovered that many banks were still flouting the frequency regulation.

“We have found that lots of banks are still on the bands.

“So, here at Ecobank, we have discovered that they are on this frequency and we have therefore, gone to their equipment room and removed the offending radio which we are taking back with us to Abuja.

“Of course, it goes without saying that anybody operating on this illegal frequency will pay some penalties for the length of time they have used it.

“We are doing this to sanitise the Nigerian frequency space.

“And at this particular bank, we found that apart from the fact that they are using this frequency illegally, they have also affected another licensed operator’s frequency.

“And this is the kind of thing that NCC frowns at because we want a sanitised communication space,” Mr. Muoka said.

Also speaking, the NCC Head of Enforcement, Efosa Idehen, said the NCC would seize the offending equipment.

“We are going to remove the offending radios and because they are still on the mast, we will seal off their communication room until they bring down the radios because when we leave, they can turn back the radio into the 5.4 megahertz band.

“This week, we have gone to Enugu, Awka, Asaba and here in Benin we have discovered that the worst offenders have been the banks.

“When we get back to Abuja, we will communicate back to the offenders the various penalties,” he said.

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