Telecommunication licence is a prerequisite for the operation of any telecommunication service in Nigeria. The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) is the issuing body of telecommunication licences in Nigeria empowered by the Nigeria Communication Act 2003.

All service providers in the telecommunication sector in Nigeria must adhere to all existing regulations and requirements such as licences, permits, written authorizations and assignments before carrying out full business operations.

Business licences in the telecommunication industry are of different categories; individual licence, class licence and unified licence. There are additional licences such as Value Added Service licence and Automated Vehicle Tracking Service licence.

Individual licences: These are license authorizations having terms, conditions, obligations, scope and limitation to the license service being provided. The licence is specific to the type of service being provided. Licensing processes under this category can take the form of “Auctioning” processes, “First come, first served” processes, “Beauty Contest” processes or a standard administrative procedure.

Class Licences:  These are under another category of business licenses in which the terms and conditions/obligations are common to all license holders. It may include conditions to carry out a specified activity. This license requires only registration with the NCC for applicants to commence operation.

Unified Licences: These fall under a separate business license category that allows the licensee to provide a bouquet of Telecoms services under a composite or unified license.

Requirements for a telecommunication licence:

  • Company Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) incorporation documents
  • A certified true copy of applicant country’s Memorandum and Articles of Association (MEMART).
  • Certified True Copies (CTCs) of your applicant company’s CAC Forms on the particulars of the directors of your company as well as their passport photos.
  • 3 passport photos of your applicant company’s authorized representative.
  • Certificates of qualified technical staff where applicable.
  • An NCC license application form (2 copies).
  • A Tax Clearance Certificate.
  • A copy of your proposed Telecommunications service feasibility report.
  • Evidence of funding for the project.
  • Payment of a non-refundable administrative charge which is 5% of the relevant license fee.

– For investors seeking Automated Vehicle Tracking Service (AVTS) applicants henceforth must obtain a security clearance from the State Security Service (SSS) for the proposed service before applying for the license, as a condition precedent for the grant of license by the NCC. 

– For investors seeking Value Added Service (VAS) licenses which basically allow a business to provide content services using short code, the following must be presented:

  1. evidence of an agreement or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) entered between the company and a VAS Aggregator;
  2.  alternatively, a copy of licenses duly issued by other regulatory agencies such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for Mobile Money Operation Services (MMO) or the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) for lottery/gaming/betting services.

In conclusion, the above is only provided as a guide. It is advised that prospective telecommunication operators should seek relevant and necessary professional legal guide.

By Adeola Oyinlade & Co

Note: The content of this article is anticipated to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Adeola Oyinlade & Co provides help and offer advisory to both local and foreign clients in obtaining Telecommunication licenses in Nigeria.

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