The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecoms industry regulator, has said it remitted over N49.7 billion to the federal government â€˜Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) within the first four months of 2018.
Director, Public Affairs at NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo, who dropped the hint in a statement thursday, said the remittance was done in compliance with the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007 (FRA 2007).
The figure according to Ojobo, represents â€˜Payment on Accountâ€™ in respect of operating surplus for the year 2018.
According to the FRA 2007, such payments are to be made every year after preparation of audited accounts.
He, however, said the NCC took the initiative to be making payments on account as it generates revenue.
Section 22, sub Section 1 of the Act states that â€œNotwithstanding 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.â€
Section 22, sub Section 2 of the Act is clear about this: â€œThe 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,â€ Ojobo said.
He explained that the funds remitted were beside 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).
The section states that â€œthe commission shall pay all monies accruing from the sale of Spectrum under part 1 of Chapter VIII into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CFR),â€ Ojobo added in the statement made available to THISDAY.
The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) and Chief Executive of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, had recently enumerated how telecommunications has impacted the Nigerian economypositively.
During a recent courtesy visit to Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Danbatta quoted figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) to justify this impact.
For instance, 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.
â€œThis performance at a period of recession is very remarkableâ€, Danbatta explained adding that â€œwe are keeping dates with the NBS to identify and track how these trends continue.â€
In general terms, telecoms industry contribution to GDP in Nigeria stands at 10 per cent yearly in the last four years, Danbatta said.
According to him, these figures may not tell the entire story, because investments in human and material resources are on the rise daily.
From a paltry $50 million investment in the sector in 2001, the figures stand at $70 billion as at September, 2017.
Value Added Services segment of the sector investment is over $200 million and estimated to reach $500 million by 2021.
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 NCC is working hard to achieve the 30 per cent penetration according to the National Broadband Plan (NBP), (2013 â€“ 2018), Danbatta said.