The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, yesterday denied that it has renewed telecom operator, Airtel’s operating license for another period of 10 years.

The regulator said though the telco has applied for renewal of its operating license, it is however reviewing the application and has not granted it yet.

It made the clarification following news making the rounds that the telco has been approved to carry on telecom activities as a licensed operator for another 10 years.

In a statement signed by its Director public Affairs, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, the commission said: “The attention of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC has been drawn to a recent statement on an online publication credited to the Managing Director/Chief Executive Office of Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Olusegun Ogunsanya, to the effect that the mobile operating licence of Airtel has been renewed by the Commission for another period of 10 years.

“Mr. Ogunsanya was said to have made the statement while speaking in Lagos on Wednesday, July 14, 202, during the media launch of Airtel’s corporate social responsibility programme, ‘Touching Lives 6’.

“The Commission wishes to state that while Airtel Nigeria has applied for the renewal of the Unified Access Service (UASL) Licence granted to it by the Commission, the application is yet to be approved as it is still undergoing required regulatory process”.

Reacting to the development, Airtel’s Vice President

Corporate Communications & CSR, Mr Emeka Oparah said the statement made by his CEO at the Airtel Touching Lives was just drawing a contrast between operating license and social license.

He said: “Whilst the operating license is issued by NCC, we stated that a social license is earned by what a company does for its communities. We are very proud of our Touching Lives Program which gives support to the less privileged in our communities. 

“However, for clarity, an operating license is always issued by NCC and our current license expires in November 2021. We have applied to NCC for its renewal ahead of this expiry date and the renewal process is in progress but yet to be concluded” he added.