The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), said it remitted a total of N51.3 billion to Federal Government’s Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), in the first quarter of 2019.
The remittance, according to the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC/CEO), NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, is in compliance with the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007 (FRA 2007).
The payment represents “Payment on Account” in respect of operating surplus of N44 billion and N7.3 billion spectrum assignment fee collected, both of which were due to the Federal Government as at April 30, 2019.
According to the FRA 2007, such payments are to be made every year after preparation of Audited Accounts.
Specifically, 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 states further that, “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 Corporation’s Account.”
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 shall be remitted 100 per cent to the Federal Government.
The Section states that, “the Commission shall pay all monies accruing from the sales of Spectrum under Part 1 of Chapter VIII into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).”
Commenting on the remittances, Danbatta said the Commission had taken the initiative to be making payments on Account as it generates revenue.
Danbatta noted that through effective regulatory oversight by the Commission, telecommunications sector has witnessed phenomenal growth since 2001, making it an enabler of economic growth and development.
“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 quarter-on-quarter contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” He added.
Meanwhile a recent data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), showed that the telecoms industry contributed 10.11 per cent to Nigeria’s GDP in the first quarter of 2019.
This represents a 0.92 per cent increase over the first quarter of 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, just as the Commission intensifies measures aimed to further facilitate investment growth in telecoms infrastructure to drive the economy, especially through the licensed Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos).