Up until the announcement of the bid result by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) over the release of Nigeria’s 3.5 GHz spectrum for the deployment of 5G, little was known about Mafab Communications Limited, which won the bid alongside MTN Nigeria.
Mafab Communications Limited which clinched the bid ahead of known players like Airtel, is to pay $273 million to acquire one of the slots in Nigeria’s 3.5 GHz spectrum for the deployment of 5G.
The brainchild of Dr Musbahu Mohammed Bashir, Mafab Communications Limited was incorporated on July 8, 2020, and licensed by the NCC to provide and operate local interconnect exchange and international data access services.
The company provides exceptional voice quality for local and international calls at the best available market rates, amongst many other services.
Apparently, everybody was shocked to learn that a little-known company beat established names like Global Com, Airtel, and 9Mobile to acquire this license.
The question in many people’s minds is: who is the man behind this company that had the courage to outbid well-established names? What are the implications of this David victory?
According to reports, the NCC disqualified Airtel, Global Com, and 9Mobile for not meeting the pre-conditions laid down to get the license.
The report went on to explain that Mafab Communications, whose registered office is at No. 8A Ibiyinka Olorunbo Close, Off Amodu Ojikutu Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, will have to pay the bid price of $273.6 million for the auction.
But there are questions about the capacity of Mafab, which has only 16 months to acquire and exploit the 3.5 GHz spectrum for the deployment of 5G in the company.
The NCC requires Mafab and MTN to pay $273.6million by February 24, 2022, at the latest.
Even though it is still new, a lot of people are a bit concerned about how a company with just less than three years in existence can outbid established names. Does the company have the capacity to deliver, being that 5G technology is the newest and requires the best expertise to deliver across all frontiers?
Also, what were the requirements needed to be successful in the bid that made Mafab dislodge the big giants to win the bid?
Were Mafab's bids unduly favoured because of outside interests? How on earth can companies such as Airtel Africa, Glo, and 9Mobile not have the financial and technical muscle to dislodge a little-known company?
Not much of his personal life is known except that of his professional life, which is available in the public space.
On the internet, Dr. Musbahu Mohammad Bashir, Chairman of Althani Group, owns Mafab and he is one of the people with significant control.
Bashir is a board member of Jaiz Bank. He is also a director of the following companies: Bento Drill Nigeria Limited 1995, Offshore Technologies International Limited 1995, and Resource Capital Group 1995.
The businessman is also the Chairman of Cobalt International Services Limited, a pre-shipment inspection agent for dry goods and bulk liquid cargoes.
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