The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said it has not approved the application of Airtel Nigeria to renew its licence. The Commission in a statement signed by its Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, said the clarifications became necessary to dispel recent reports that the operator’s license has been renewed.
Airtel Nigeria whose current license expires November this year, announced earlier that it had paid $189 million to the NCC to renew its license for another 10 years. However, the NCC said the company’s application is still being reviewed and has not been approved.
“The attention of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has been drawn to a recent statement on an online publication credited to the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Olusegun Ogunsanya, to the effect that the mobile operating licence of Airtel has been renewed by the Commission for another period of 10 years.
“Mr. Ogunsanya was said to have made the statement while speaking in Lagos on Wednesday, July 14, 202, during the media launch of Airtel’s corporate social responsibility programme, ‘Touching Lives 6’.
“The Commission wishes to state that while Airtel Nigeria has applied for the renewal of the Unified Access Service (UASL) Licence granted to it by the Commission, the application is yet to be approved as it is still undergoing the required regulatory process.
“This statement is issued for the guidance of our stakeholders,” NCC stated.
Meanwhile, the telecom operator has also clarified its statement on the licence, noting that it had only applied for it. The company in a statement issued by its Vice President Corporate Communications & CSR, Mr. Emeka Oparah, said, "during the launch of our flagship corporate social responsibility program titled Airtel Touching Lives, last week, a contrast was drawn between operating license and social license.
"Whilst the operating license is issued by NCC, we stated that a social license is earned by what a company does for its communities. We are very proud of our Touching Lives Program which gives support to the less privileged in our communities.
"However, for clarity, an operating license is always issued by NCC and our current license expires in November 2021. We have applied to NCC for its renewal ahead of this expiry date and the renewal process is in progress but yet to be concluded. We look forward to working with our various communities on the 6th edition of our Airtel Touching Lives Program," Oparah stated.