The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday said that it remitted N49.7 billion to the Federal Government in the first quarter of the current fiscal year.
The Commission’s Director of Public Affairs, Mr Tony Ojobo, who made the closure in a statement, indicated that the figure represented the “Payment on Account” in respect of operating surplus for the quarter and also in compliance with the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007 (FRA 2007).
He stated: “According to the FRA 2007, such payments are to be made every year after preparation of Audited Accounts. However, the NCC has taken the initiative to be making payments on account as it generates revenue.
“Section 22, Sub section 1 of the Act states that notwithstanding the provisions of any written law governing the Corporation, each Corporation shall establish a general reserve fund and shall allocate thereto at the end of each financial year, one fifth of its operating surplus for the year.
“Section 22, Sub section 2 of the Act is clear about this – the balance of the operating surplus shall be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of the Federal Government not later than one month following the statutory deadline for publishing each Corporations Account”, Ojobo added.
He pointed out further that the funds remitted were besides “Spectrum Assignment fees which are remitted 100 per cent to the Federal Government in line with Section 17, Sub section 3 of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA 2003).’’
According to him, the section states that the Commission shall pay all monies accruing from the sale of Spectrum under Part 1 of Chapter VIII into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CFR).
Ojobo quoted the Executive Vice Chairman of the commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, as saying during a visit to the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, that the telecommunications sector impacted the Nigerian economy positively.
According to the statement, Danbatta reportedly told the CBN Gover that “in the first quarter of 2017, telecommunications contributed N1.45 trillion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) while the figures rose to N1.549 trillion in the second quarter of 2017.”
Noting that the telecoms industry contribution to GDP in Nigeria stood at 10 per cent yearly in the last four years, Danbatta promised that the commission would keep date with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) to “identify and track how these trends continue.”
He noted that those figures may not have told the entire story as investments in human and material resources rise on daily basis.
According to him, from a paltry 50 million dollars investment in the sector in 2001, the figures stand at $70 billion as at September, 2017.
The NCC’s boss said that Value Added Services (VAS) segment of the sector investment which now stands at over $200 million was estimated to hit $500 million by the turn of 2021.
Danbatta said: “The industry has provided direct and indirect employment to millions of Nigerians and over 150 million subscribers are connected to various networks with broadband penetration currently at 22 per cent, according to the UNESCO/ITU Sustainable Development Goal (SDG).”
The telecoms industry regulator assured that the NCC was working hard to achieve the 30 per cent penetration in line with the National Broadband Plan (NBP) from 2013 to 2018.