Business Hilights
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NCC seals UBA, Minet group for illegal access to 5.4GHz frequency band in S’South

Operational premises of two companies doing business in parts of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, and Calabar, Cross River State capital have been sealed by the enforcement arm of the telecoms regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The treatment was meted to the United Bank for Africa (UBA) branch in Uyo and Hot Minet Services Limited on MCC Road in Calabar for breaches in deployment of 5.4GHz frequency band without recourse to laid down rules.

At UBA, in line with the enforcement action, the equipment (radio) used in the provision of the service was removed and held in custody of the Commission. More so, the Enforcement team had to order the arrest of some officials of the Bank for their resistance.

It was further gathered that the punishment for the offence 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. The suspects have been handed over to the relevant security agency for discreet investigation and possible prosecution.

The sealing team led by the Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Department, NCC, Efosa Idehen, shut down the operations of Hot Minet Services. The team also confiscated the non-type approved equipment used by the Company in providing the illegal services. The team also directed Hot Minet to ensure that it obtains the requisite licence before its premises can be unsealed.

NCC viewed the illegal deployment as grave contravention and criminal offence to provide service in frequency band not validly assigned or licensed by the Commission, as provided under Section 121, and 122 of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003.

The NCC Enforcement team took Compliance Monitoring to the states on April 26 and 27, respectively, to enforce compliance with its Guidelines for the Deployment of Service in the 5.4GHz Frequency Band.

The Commission, based on the Guidelines issued a public notice dated April 3, warning unlicensed operators and the general public to vacate illegal transmission in the 5.4GHz frequency Band within 14 days.

Business Hilights gathered that the deadline for vacation ended on April 17, consequently the Enforcement team visited Hot Minet Services located on 80 MCC Road, Calabar, and United Bank for Africa (UBA), on Udo Udoma Banking Layout, Uyo, for failing to comply with the Guidelines and the public notice issued by the Commission.