The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has decided to remove the ban on Spectrum Trading Guidelines (STG), 2018, before the end of the ongoing reassessment of the rules.

 Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director, Public Affairs of the NCC revealed this on 1st October, 2020.

The removal of the ban sequence careful discussion on the subject by the Board of NCC at its Special Board Meeting, which held on Wednesday, September 16, 2020.

The Meeting was chaired by the suspension of the STG by the Board at its 96th Board Meeting held in May 18, 2020.

The public notice said further, “The Board was satisfied that, given the state of the consultation, it was possible to lift the suspension of the STG pending the conclusion of the review,” NCC said in a public notice signed by its Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde.

“Accordingly, the Board resolved that the suspension of the STG be lifted and that relevant stakeholders continue to operate the STG while a new/revised STG is finalised in consultation with the industry."

The Commission had, in a statement released on 27th May, 2020, declared the suspension of STG 2018 for the Nigerian telecommunications industry and informed all registered telecoms operators, prospective investors, industry stakeholders and the general public of the regulatory decision.

The Board of NCC had earlier taken the decision for Spectrum Trading in response to telecommunications global dynamics, as well as the efforts to optimally utilise and maximise the benefits of Spectrum as a scarce resource.

Spectrum is a limited resource, which, when inefficiently utilised, greatly limits broadband coverage and speed. The current Spectrum Trading Guidelines were developed in 2018 after industry-wide consultations and this instrument allows that the Spectrum resource be traded on the Secondary Market through Transfer, Sharing or Leasing (TSL) upon satisfying stipulated regulatory conditions.

According to the Commission, the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP), 2020-2025 launched by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja in March 2020, requires that these Guidelines be reviewed to ensure that unutilised Spectrum is fairly traded to facilitate rollout by other operators amongst others.

The Guidelines will also help to address the need for ubiquitous broadband deployment to accelerate penetration and access in line with the economic Agenda of the Federal Government.

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