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BON Writes Information Minister Over Sale Of 600MHz Spectrum To Telecom Giant




FG Reacts As SSANU, NASU Threaten Fresh Strike

The Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) has berated the approval of sales of 600MHz broadcasting spectrum to telecommunication giant, MTN.

The organisation, in a letter addressed to the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris Malagi, said the approval of sales of the 600MHz broadcasting spectrum to the telecom giant jeopardises the future of broadcasting in the country.

The 600 MHz spectrum is 3GPP standardized (LTE Band 71) and allows for channel sizes of 5,10,15, or 20 MHz. It is significant because these airwaves travel farther and are less hindered by obstacles like foliage, rain and buildings.

In the letter dated September 21, 2023, and signed by the organisation’s Executive Secretary, Dr Yemisi Bamgbose, the organisation is calling on the minister to inform President Bola Tinubu of the dangers attributed to the sale of the spectrum.

Bamgbose, in the letter, recounts how the BON warned the National Broadcasting Commission (NCC), not to approve the sales of the spectrum when it was advertised for sale by the commission in April.

BON said it had earlier written to the National Broadcasting Commission, urging it not to allow the NCC to sell the spectrum when it was advertised for sale by the commission in April.

It said, “If the sale of the 600MHZ spectrum to Telecom company should be allowed, then the future of Television Broadcasting in Nigeria is very bleak.”

The letter titled, ‘Sad Moment For Broadcasters As NCC Approves The Sale Of 600 Mhz Broadcasting Spectrum To MTN- A Call For Urgent Intervention Of The Honourable Minister Of Information And National Orientation.’ as learned by this platform was received by the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation on September 22, 2023.

BON called on the minister to intervene in the “matter of purported sale of the 600MHZ to MTN, a spectrum primarily allocated to broadcasting across the globe.”

The organisation said, “This intervention is very important because of the serious consequences the sale will have on the broadcast industry in particular and the Nigerian Citizens in general.

“The present composition of the National Frequency Management Committee should, as a matter of urgency, be looked into in order to ensure adequate representation of the broadcasting Sector in the committee”.

“A situation at which NBC and the entire broadcast sector has just one representative in the National Frequency Management Committee should not be allowed to continue.”

It also called on the minister to “notify the Presidency and the Federal Executive Council about this matter because of the public outcry that will follow if it is allowed to be sold without necessary assessment of the impacts it would have on the public and the danger it portends to information dissemination in near future.

“This is a sad development to the broadcasting industry in Nigeria more so that the Frequency in question was legally allocated to broadcasting worldwide.”