The Nigerian Communications Commission said it remitted N51.3 billion to the Federal Government’s Consolidated Revenue Fund in the first quarter of 2019, as active mobile lines networks hit over 173.6 million.
The commission made this disclosure in a statement signed by its Director, public affairs, Henry Nkemadu, on Monday in Abuja.
Nkemadu quoted NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, as saying that the remittance was in compliance with the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007.
Danbatta explained that the payment represents “Payment on Account” in respect of operating surplus of N44 billion and N7.3 billion spectrum assignment fee collected, which were due for remittance at April 30, 2019.
He said that according to the FRA 2007, such payments were to be made every year after preparation of audited Accounts.
Dandetta stated that section 22, sub-section 1 of the Act states, “Notwithstanding the provisions of any written law governing the Corporation, each Corporation shall establish a general reserve fund.
He said: “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 states further that, “The balance of the operating surplus shall be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the government not later than one month following the statutory deadline for publishing each Corporation’s Account”.
He said that aside from remitting the operating surplus, section 17, sub-section 3 of the Nigerian Communication Act (NCA, 2003) also stipulates that spectrum assignment fees generated would be remitted 100 per cent to the government.
“The Section states: “the Commission shall pay all monies accruing from the sales of Spectrum under Part 1 of Chapter VIII into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.”
Danbatta said that the commission had taken the initiative to be making payments into the account as it generates revenue.
He said that through effective regulatory oversight by the Commission, telecommunications sector had witnessed phenomenal growth since 2001, making it an enabler of economic growth and development in the country.
According to him, to date, telecoms industry has positively impacted all the sectors of the economy including banking, healthcare, commerce, transportation, agriculture, education and so on, with increased
He said: “The latest data released by the National Bureau of Statistics showed that the telecoms industry contributed 10.11 per cent to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product in the first quarter of 2019.
“This represents a 0.92 per cent increase from the first quarter of the last year. This year’s first quarter contribution is also 0.26 per cent more than the figure (9.85 per cent) recorded in the last quarter of 2018.
“From 2001 till date, telecoms investment has increased tremendously from $500 million to over $70 billion.
“The Commission intensifies measures aimed to further facilitate investment growth in telecoms infrastructure to drive the economy, especially through the licensed Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos).
“We are also working with necessary stakeholders across all levels of government to address identified impediments to investment drive in the sector.”
Danbatta, while providing latest data on the industry to underscore the impressive growth already recorded in the industry, said in the 21st century, access to pervasive broadband was a game changer for any economy.
He explained that the commission had since placed greater emphasis on broadband development as the next frontier for economic growth by driving efficiency and innovations in Nigeria.
He said the commission had increased broadband penetration to 33.13 per cent as at end of May, 2019, through painstaking implementation of the 8-Point Agenda with the need to facilitate broadband development topping the agenda.
Danbatta stated that as at May, there were over 173.6 million active mobile lines across mobile networks, corresponding to a teledensity of 90.98 per cent Internet subscriptions which stood at 122.6 million up from 119 million in April.
The Executive Vice Chairman said that while the industry continued to provide direct and indirect jobs for millions of Nigerians, the Commission, through effective regulatory approach, was embarking on more initiatives.
According to him, the initiatives are to boost access to telecoms services in rural, unserved and underserved areas across the country by ensuring service availability, accessibility and affordability for more Nigerians.