The Federal Government has stated approval of hybrid Radio Spectrum Monitoring Equipment for the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy was not targeted at the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) or any socio-cultural group in the southeast.
It said the approval was granted for the release of N654 million by the Federal Executive Council for additional spectrum monitoring equipment to be sited in Anambra to address the challenge of overstretching the ones designated for Abuja and Ogoja stations.
A statement by the Deputy Director of Press in the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Mrs. Philomina Oshodin, said there was no iota of truth in reports the spectrum equiqment would gulp N654 billion or it was targeted at monitoring the activities of IBOP and other socio-cultural groups.
She dismissed the assertion from some socio-cultural group in the southeast that “the purpose was to curb the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in order to monitor and shut down their communication.”
Mrs. Oshodin explained: “To ensure compliance by users of assigned frequencies, the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy obtained approval in 2017 to acquire five (5) Radio Spectrum Monitoring Equipment and two (2) Denial of Service Equipment.
“The five (5) radio spectrum monitoring equipment were deployed to monitor the whole country as follows: Azare – to cover Bauchi, Borno, Kano, Jigawa, Adamawa, Taraba, Gombe and Yobe States.”
According to her Gusau was to cover Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, Kwara, Katsina and Kaduna States while Ogoja was to cover Cross River, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Ebonyi, Benue, Enugu, Abia and Imo States.
She said Lagos was designed to cover Lagos, Ondo, Ogun, Oyo, Ekiti and Osun States while Abuja was to cover FCT and Niger, Plateau, Nasarawa, Kogi, Edo, Bayelsa, Anambra and Delta States.
Mrs. Oshodin added: “During the monitoring exercise, it was discovered the Abuja and Ogoja Stations were being over stretched as coverage areas were too large for effective and efficient monitoring.
“Consequently, the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy sought and obtained approval to acquire one (1) additional Hybrid Mobile Radio Spectrum Monitoring System in the sum of N654 million to be sited in Anambra State to reduce the coverage area for both Abuja and Ogoja Stations. This will reduce Abuja Station coverage and enable Abuja to cover Kwara and Ekiti thereby reducing the coverage areas for Lagos and Gusau Monitoring Stations.
” The public may wish to note that the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy does not have the mandate of monitoring radio broadcasting stations and their services.
“Nothing in the above narration has anything to do with activities of any socio-cultural organisation(s).”
The IPOB initially threatened to establish a radio station in Daura hoetown of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The movement later announced they now have plans to establish radio stations in 19 Northern States of Nigeria.