MTN Nigeria and Mafab Communications, winners of the two slots of the 3.5GHz Spectrum auction for the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) technology are yet to pay the $273 million each for the slots, The Nation learnt yesterday.

It is one month after the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) announced MTN Nigeria and Mafab Communications as winners of the bids at the 11th round on December 13, 2021.

The NCC declared at the weekend that both companies risked forfeiture of the $7.5 million they each paid as deposits for the auction as contained in the Information Memorandum (IM) on the matter.

“MTN Nigeria and Mafab Communications, both know the consequences of not meeting the February 24, 2022 deadline set for the payment of the $273 million.

“It is clearly stated in the Information Memorandum. It is a legal document that is binding on all the entities involved in the deal,” a statement in Abuja by NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, said.

Speaking with our correspondent, Adinde said the winners have not paid the $273 million each, adding that they have up till February 24 to do so or risk forfeiture of the $7.5 million they each deposited for the 5G Spectrum.

The spokesman said without the full payment of the $273 million each, the 5G technology cannot be deployed.

He explained that in the case of Mafab Communications, even if it meets the February 24 deadline, it would still apply to get the operational licence to provide services.