Buhari fever: Jim Ovia ‘returns’ Jonathan’s spectrum gift

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Chairman of Visafone and former managing director of Zenith Bank Plc, Jim Ovia, has returned the “digital dividend” frequency spectrum secretly issued to him by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Technology Times, an ICT newspaper had recently reported the controversial “gifting” of the lucrative spectrum to Mike Adenuga’s Globacom and Ovia’s Cyberspace by Jonathan.

Ovia, according to Technology Times, wrote to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecoms regulatory body, offering to return the spectrum. His request was promptly granted and his N3 billion payment was refunded.

The frequency is expected to command a higher price in an open bidding. “Digital dividend” is highly coveted by telecoms companies across the world as it enables them to launch a faster mobile broadband service.

The spectrum is available after the migration of broadcasting from analogue to digital, thereby freeing part of the electromagnetic spectrum previously used for broadcasting. Digital television typically needs less spectrum than analogue.

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