Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Executive Council (FEC), yesterday, approved N653,886,584 to procure and deploy hybrid spectrum monitoring system that will cover the southern part of the country, especially the South East.
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, explained that the approval followed the presentation of an investigative report by the ministry on the use of illegal frequencies, saying 106 out of the 320 frequencies being operated across the country were illegal.
Pantami, therefore, expressed the hope that the deployment of the new hybrid spectrum would go a long way in promoting safety and security, enhance revenue and create jobs.
“From January to August 2020, within the period of eight months, we discovered 320 frequencies being used all over the country and of this 320, 106 were illegal.
“This is very worrisome because the usage of this illegal spectrum or frequencies will compromise our security and safety. It is because of the agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari to promote security that we came up with this initiative of monitoring the usage of frequencies and uncovered the legal and the illegal ones.
“For the legal ones to ensure they renew their licenses annually and for the illegal ones, necessary actions are being taken according to the gravity of the offence.
“We discovered that our monitoring did not cover south east. It covered five zones – North East, North West, North Central, South West and South South. However, South East has not been covered.
Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said the council also approved the setting up of two shoes, garments and leather processing hubs in Aba and Janguza in Abia and Kano states respectively, under a PPP arrangement.
The project, which he said would be managed by two companies, Nigerian and Chinese, would provide about 4,330 direct and indirect job opportunities. He also said the investment is worth N5.1 billion.