From Benjamin Babine, Abuja
The Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy has said it will sanction private and public entities using radio frequency spectrum without permission if they don’t apply to the Ministry to obtain appropriate authorization.
This was made known by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr Musa Istifanus during a 2-Day Sensitization Workshop titled “Implications of Irregular and Illegal use of Radio Frequency”.
In his speech read by Technical Assistance, Engr. Dr. Patrick Oghuma, he stated that members of the
public, private companies and organizations are advised and encouraged to cooperate with the Ministry’s officials that are on regular routine inspection duties of premises in order to curb incidences of irregular and illegal use of radio frequency spectrum and operation of radiocommunication equipment without due authorization.
He informed members of the public and all stakeholders that the Ministry’s enforcement team is also on regular inspection duties of premises that have radiocommunications installations, especially those that use walkie-talkie radios to ensure that they are duly authorized to use such radios.
Istifanus pointed out that all licencees of the Ministry are expected to fulfil their financial obligations by paying up the annual renewal fees as required by their licence conditions to avoid withdrawal of their licence(s). He said that Spectrum Monitoring Reports in the past few months indicate that individuals and some organizations use the radio frequency spectrum and operate radiocommunication equipment without due authorization.
In his words: “out of 300 frequencies that were monitored recently, 106 of them were found to be used without due licence. It should be noted that such users could either cause harmful interference to duly licensed users or pose security threat to the nation, because they neither have licence to use the frequencies nor the permission to operate radiocommunication equipment.”
He said the Ministry obtained Federal Executive Council (FEC) approval in 2017 to procure state-of-the-art radio spectrum monitoring and denial of service equipment.
The equipment is used to monitor the radio frequency spectrum to help in minimizing incidences of harmful interference by radiocommunications operators through irregular and illegal use of the scarce radio frequency spectrum resource amongst many other uses and to deny service to those entities that blatantly refuse to obtain licence or fulfil their financial obligations to the Ministry/Government.
In his speech, the Director (Radio Monitoring System), Engr. Kilyobas Binga pointed out that the Ministry has |Five radio monitoring centres in South West, Northwest, South South, and Abuja and the six monitoring centre would be cited in South East for efficient and effective monitoring of the entire radio frequency space of the country.
He added that, spectrum monitoring is one of the key elements of a national spectrum management system which support frequency planning, assignment process, licensing and enforcement.