Federal Executive Council (FEC), Wednesday, approved N653, 886, 584 to procure and deploy a hybrid spectrum monitoring system which would cover the entire south of the country, with particular focus on the South East region.
Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Issa Pantami, who disclosed this at the end of the 18th virtual Federal Executive Council meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari at State House in Abuja, Wednesday, said the move follows investigations which discovered the existence of 106 illegal frequencies operating in the country.
According to the minister, in five geo-political zones of the north-east, north-west, north-central, south-west and south-south, investigations showed that 320 frequencies were in use, with 106 of them illegal.
Pantami described the use of illegal frequencies in the country which has become very rampant as worrisome, as he explained that the initial monitoring did not cover the south east zone of the country.
“The Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy sought the approval of council for deployment of hybrid spectrum monitoring system, most importantly to focus on the South-Eastern zone of the country.
“From January to August 2020, within the period of eight months, we discovered 320 frequencies being used all over the country and of this 320, 106 were illegal.
“This is very worrisome because the usage of this illegal spectrum or frequencies will compromise our security and safety in the country.
“It is because of the agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari, on promoting security that we came up with this initiative of monitoring the usage of frequencies and uncover the legal and the illegal ones.”
“For the legal ones, it is to ensure they renew their licenses annually and for the illegal ones, necessary actions are being taken according to the gravity of the offence.
“We discovered that our monitoring did not cover South-East part of the country. It covered five zones – North-East, North-West, North-Central, South-West and South-South, however, South-East has not been covered.
“It is because of this that we presented our memo, seeking for council’s approval of N653,886,584 to procure and deploy hybrid spectrum monitoring system that will cover the southern part of the country, most importantly the South East,” the minister said.