Nigeria and the Republic of Niger have agreed bilaterally in Abuja to coordinate frequency usage along their borders in order to guarantee the smooth deployment of services between the two nations.
One of the highlights of the two-day Digital Economy Regional Conference, which was held in Nigeria and was organized by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and ended at the Transcorp Hilton Abuja, was the agreement signing ceremony.
Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy for Nigeria, and Mr. Moussa Baraze, Minister of Post and New Information Technologies for Nigeria, both signed on behalf of their respective nations.
The agreement was witnessed by Mrs. Aichatou Oumani, Chairperson of the National Council for Regulation of Electronic Communications and Post of the Niger Republic, and Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). It pertains to the coordination of frequencies currently in use in the Nigeria-Niger transboundary areas between 87.5 megahertz (MHz) and 30 gigahertz (GHz).
In addition to addressing one of the major issues of signal interference regulation that may arise in telecoms signal transmissions by terrestrial telecoms service providers, the agreement indicated it will aid in effective coordination and sharing of frequencies and channels in the “buffer zone or area” on borderlines between the two countries. It also outlines the procedures for addressing such cases.
The agreement, according to the two parties, provides, in part, that in case of harmful interference affecting one of the parties, the affected party shall inform the other party in writing for necessary action to be carried out.
“Also, the party from whence the interference is originating shall ensure that all necessary means are used to resolve the harmful interference within 30 days of receipt of the notice”, the agreement says.
However, it states that the land and mobile services whose use is prohibited for reasons of security, maritime, or national defense, or for which information is not available, shall not be subject to the provisions of the agreement. This is true even though the Agreement is without prejudice to the rights and obligations of the parties specified in the Convention, the Constitution of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and other inter-governmental agreements.