NCC explains wholly-owned licence to foreign firm
The NCC said in a statement by its Head, Media and Public Relations, Mr. Reuben Muoka, “that a landing right licence was offered to MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd, a company duly registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria and operating as a local Nigerian company, after it had fulfilled all the rigorous processing requirements of the commission which lasted for over a period of not less than six months and approved by the Board of the Commission.”
The NCC also denied knowledge that a Nigerian company was denied similar rights in South Africa. The NCC said: “Globacom never applied to the South African Government for any cable landing right licence and hence reports that the company was denied the licence are not true.
“The Chief Executive Officer of Main One Cable Company informed the commission that the firm applied for cable landing right licence in response to a Request For Proposal (RFP) published by the South African Government. Main One Cable applied as a foreign company registered under the laws of Mauritius. The company also did not apply as a Joint Venture with any South African company nor as a South African registered company.
“Therefore, evidence does not seem to exist of any company that actually registered a local company in South Africa, applied for a licence and was subsequently denied a cable landing licence.”
The current Nigerian laws allow for 100% ownership of any business in Nigeria by a foreign entity. Therefore, ownership structure with respect to Nigerian registered businesses that apply for licences to do business in the ICT field, has never been a qualifying condition, the NCC said.
The NCC acted within the existing laws of the Federal Government of Nigeria, including the Nigerian Communications Act 2003, which requires the commission to protect competition and not specific competitors, it added.
The NCC said it based its position on its findings and that it would be out of place to insinuate that Nigerian firms were being denied landing rights in foreign countries whereas such other firms were enjoying such rights and privileges here.