By Olabisi Olaleye
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, has secured a permit waiver for fibre infrastructure to the tune of N221 million for MTN Nigeria in Kano state.
The relief coming as the company battles with the payment of the N1.04 trillion NCC’s sanction money, was seen by stakeholders as a welcome development.
It could be recalled that a similar intervention by the NCC boss in Ogun State last year, resulted in the unsealing of 47 base stations locked by the state government, while the state governor, Mr. Ibikunle Amosun, also reduced ground rent fee owed byIHS Towers from N370 million to N120 million.
Daily Sun learnt that some staff of Huawei, working on telecommunication infrastructure expansion in Kano state on behalf of the MTN Nigeria, were arrested by the officials of government’s agency, Kano State Urban Planning and Development Authority (KANUPDA), a development which stopped work on the project.
The situation could have adverse effects on Quality of Service experience for millions of service subscribers in the state and beyond before it was swiftly nipped in the bud by the commission.
Danbatta has made unscheduled visit to the state governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, and the government magnanimously waived the permit fee of N221,000,000) for deployment of fibre infrastructure in that state.
The EVC, according to some telecoms stakeholders with him had convinced the governor about the economic benefits that the state stands to gain from deployment of more telecommunication infrastructure as well the potential quality of service that millions of service subscribers would face if the work was further delayed. In a letter signed by KANUPDA, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Bashir Mudi Adamu, and addressed to MTN, the agency, said the waiver of permit fees was granted in respect of two federal roads, Zaria Road and Maiduguri Road in the state.