5G Deployment ‘ll Make Nigeria’s Economy Competitive—FG

The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy and the Chairman, National Frequency Management Council, Isa Pantami has said that the 5G deployment in the country will make Nigeria’s economy more competitive in the fourth industrial revolution.

The minister also called on state governments to consider the 5G deployment beyond the issue of right of way.


Pantami said this at the official launch and public presentation of National Policy on 5G Network and Spectrum for 5G Deployment which was held on Thursday in Abuja.

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had unveiled the policy in January 2022.

The event also featured the hand-over of the 3.5 gigahertz Spectrum by Pantami to the NCC Board and the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Umar Danbatta.

The hand-over of the spectrum allocation is coming two months after the NCC in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy conducted the bidding round for the 3.5 gigahertz Spectrum.


The bidding rounds for the spectrum which would aid the deployment of 5G in Africa’s biggest economy lasted for 11 hours.

Airtel Networks Limited, Mafab Communications Limited and MTN Communications Nigeria Limited competed in the bidding.

The winning bid price for the auction was $273,600,000 for each lot of 100 MHz TDD, however, only MTN and Mafab Communications Ltd emerged successful.

Airtel listed an exit bid of $270,000,000.

The winners, MTN and Mafab are expected to pay the amount by February 24 2022, according to the NCC.


Speaking at the unveiling of the policy and the handover of the spectrum, the minister reiterated that studies have proved that the 5G is safe and has no link with Covid-19 pandemic.

He said the deployment of 5G is part of the fourth industrial revolution which is centered on the virtual world.

On the hand over, he explained that the NCC and NBC will manage commercial spectrum while the ministry would handle non-commercial spectrum.

He said the NCC will use its powers to handover to MTN and Mafab, the winners of the bidding exercise.

Pantami said, “Sometimes we are more inclined with the virtual world than the physical world.

“Following the successful auctioning of the 3.5GHZ deployment in December 2021, Nigeria is set to start enjoying the economic benefits of deploying 5G network.


“As the chairman of the National Frequency Management Council, we officially hand over frequency spectrum to NCC so that the NCC can use its regulatory power and hand over the spectrum to the winners of the last function.

“And I do hope that our stakeholders from today will address all the obstacles to the deployment and will kick start the process immediately.

“I want to also use the opportunity to plead with the stakeholders whether our state governors where the issue of right of way becomes a challenge from time to time.

“Though government has addressed the issue more than 90 per cent, from time to time, the issues will come. But I do hope that they will understand the economic benefits, the security benefits and many more of this technological advancement. It goes beyond right of way.

“Let us try to make the process easy so that the operators so that they will be able to deploy the 5G.”

The Director-General of National information Technology Development Agency, Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi, in his remarks said the 5G would facilitate the attainment of the country’s digital economy target.



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