Nigeria and The Republic of Niger have signed a bilateral agreement for the coordination of frequency utilisation along their borders, to ensure seamless deployment of services within both countries.
The agreement signing ceremony at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, Abuja was one of the highlights of the two-day Digital Economy Regional Conference hosted by the Nigerian government and facilitated by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, signed on behalf of Nigeria, while his Nigerien counterpart, the Minister of Post and New Information Technologies, Mr. Moussa Baraze, signed for his country.
The executive vice-chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta and Niger Republic’s chairperson of the National Council for Regulation of Electronic Communications and Post, Mrs. Aichatou Oumani were witnesses to the agreement which applies to the coordination of frequencies existing in the Nigeria-Niger transboundary areas between 87.5 megahertz (MHz) and 30 gigahertz (GHz).
The agreement will help in the effective coordination and sharing of frequencies and channels in the ‘buffer zone’ on borderlines between both countries and also help address major issues of signal interference regulation that may arise in telecoms signal transmissions by terrestrial telecoms service providers, as it spells out the procedures for regulating such cases.
The agreement, according to both countries, 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.
A statement by the NCC’s director of public affairs, Reuben Muoka pointed out that while 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 arrangements, “the land and mobile services whose use is restricted for security, maritime and national defence or for which information is not available, shall not be subjected to the provisions of the agreement”.