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Licensing and authorisation

Licences/authorisations required

What licences/authorisations are required to provide telecoms services?

There are two types of licence granted by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC):

  • individual licences; and
  • class licences.

An individual licence is a type of authorisation in which the terms, conditions and obligations, scope and limitations are specific to the service provided. Licensing takes place through:

  • an auction;
  • a ‘first come, first served’ system;
  • a ‘beauty contest’; or
  • a standard administrative procedure.

A class licence is a type of general authorisation in which the terms and conditions and obligations are common to all licence holders. A class licence only requires registration with the NCC to begin operating.

Procedure

What are the eligibility, documentary and procedural requirements to obtain a licence/authorisation?

To obtain an individual licence, applicants must:

  • download an individual licence application form from the NCC website;
  • pay N1,000 to the NCC;
  • provide three copies of the completed application form;
  • accompany the form with the following documents:
    • a certificate of incorporation;
    • a tax clearance certificate;
    • a certified true copy (CTC) of articles and memorandum of association;
    • a CTC of Form CO7 (list of company directors);
    • a feasibility report of the service applied for;
    • three photographs of the authorised representative;
    • photographs of company directors; and
    • a CTC of the company address;
  • ensure that the application forms and accompanying documents are spiral bound before submission;
  • enquire to the NCC regarding the required payment;
  • submit the application and provide a non-refundable administrative charge, which is 5% of the relevant licence fee; and
  • pay the full licence fee once the application has been approved.

To obtain a class licence, applicants must:

  • download a class licence application form from the NCC website;
  • pay N1,000 to the NCC;
  • provide two copies of the completed application form;
  • accompany the form with the following documents:
    • a certificate of incorporation;
    • a tax clearance certificate;
    • a CTC of articles and memorandum of association;
    • a CTC of Form CO7 (list of company directors);
    • two passport photographs of the authorised representative;
    • a certificate of qualified technical staff;
    • a brief on the proposed service of the company; and
    • passport photographs of the company directors or the sole proprietor;
  • ensure that the application forms and accompanying documents are spiral bound before submission;
  • pay a licence fee of N10,000 on submission of the application.

Validity period and renewal

What is the validity period for licences/authorisations and what are the terms of renewal?

The following table outlines the validity period for telecoms licences.

License

Service

Validity

Individual licence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Value added services, including:
  • prepaid calling cards;
  • call directory services;
  • special numbering services;
  • call centre services; and
  • content services using short code;
  • automated vehicle tracking services;
  • internet services;
  • collocation/infrastructure sharing services;
  • internet exchange services;
  • interconnect exchange services;
  • full gateway services;
  • national long distance operator services; and
  • unified access service (ie, fixed telephony, national/regional, DML, RLDO, NLDO, IDA, FGS):
  • national;
  • Tier 1;
  • Tier 2;
  • Tier 3;
  • Tier 4;
  • Tier 5; and
  • international cable infrastructure and landing station licence.

 

  • Five years;
  • five years;
  • ten years;
  • five years;
  • five years;
  • five years;
  • five years;
  • ten years;
  • ten years;
  • ten years;
  • ten years;
  • 20 years; and
  • 20 years.

 

  • 20 years;
  • 20 years;
  • 20 years;
  • 20 years;
  • 20 years; and
  • 20 years.

 

Class licence

  • Sale and installation of terminal equipment;
  • repairs and maintenance of telecoms facilities;
  • cabling;
  • tele-centres or cyber cafés; and
  • public payphones.
  • Indefinite;
  • indefinite;
  • indefinite;
  • indefinite; and
  • indefinite.

 

Renewal

The licensee must apply for renewal of an individual licence not later than six months before its expiry and the renewal fee is determined by the NCC.

If the NCC does not intend to renew the licence, it must inform the licensee in writing not later than three months after receiving the renewal application.

Fees

What fees apply?

The following table outlines the fees for telecoms licences.

 Type of licence

Service

Fee

Individual licence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Value added services, including:
  • prepaid calling cards;
  • call directory services;
  • special numbering services;
  • call centre services; and
  • content services using short code;
  • automated vehicle tracking services;
  • internet services;
  • collocation/infrastructure sharing services;
  • internet exchange services;
  • interconnect exchange services;
  • full gateway services;
  • national long distance operator services; and
  • unified access service (ie, fixed telephony, national/regional, DML, RLDO, NLDO, IDA, FGS):
  • national;
  • Tier 1;
  • Tier 2;
  • Tier 3;
  • Tier 4;
  • Tier 5; and
  • international cable infrastructure and landing station licence.

 

  • N1 million;
  • N500,000;
  • N3 million;
  • N500,000;
  • N500,000;
  • N500,000;
  • N500,000;
  • N2 million;
  • N1 million;
  • N1 million;
  • N50 million;
  • N20 million;
  • the fee depends on the services which the applicant is interested in; and

 

 

 

  • $210,000.

Class licence

  • Sale and installation of terminal equipment;
  • repairs and maintenance of telecoms facilities;
  • cabling;
  • tele-centres or cyber cafés; and
  • public payphones.
  • N10,000;
  • N10,000;
  • N10,000;
  • N10,000; and
  • N10,000.

Timeframe

What is the usual timeframe for obtaining a licence/authorisation?

An applicant must receive a response to its licence application within 90 days. For class licences, the applicant will receive an offer letter immediately after the acceptance of the application. For individual licences – depending on the service and if the accompanying information is complete – the applicant should receive a response in four to eight weeks.

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