Telecoms regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has contributed to the revenue drive of the Federal Government by generating and remitting N344.71 billion to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) in the last five years.
Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, disclosed this yesterday while briefing the House Committee on Telecommunications during a legislative oversight function on the Commission in Abuja.
Danbatta, who attributed the successes of the Commission in the last five years to the harmonious relationship between the agency and the National Assembly, said such relationship and the diligent oversight by the lawmakers and necessary legislative support have brought a lot of dividends for the industry.
“Through the support of the lawmakers, especially the House Committee on Telecommunications, which the NCC leadership has worked with in the last five years, the Commission has been able to generate and remit N344.71 billion to Federal Government Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) from spectrum fees and operating surplus,” he said. He stated that the telecoms sector’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased from 8.5 per cent in 2015 to 14.30 per cent as of the second quarter of 2020.
In financial value, the 14.30 per cent translates to N2.272 trillion in Q2. He also said that telecoms investment grew from around $38 billion in 2015 to over $70 billion currently. Speaking further, Danbatta said NCC is promoting financial inclusion by encouraging the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to actively participate in providing financial services towards actualising government’s 80 per cent financial inclusion target by 2020. According to him, through the collaboration of critical stakeholders as the National Assembly, NCC has been able to increase broadband penetration from six per cent in 2015 to 45.43 per cent as of September 2020, while basic active internet subscriptions grew from 90 million to 143.7 million.
“Between 2015 and September 2020, active voice subscription has increased from 151 million to 205.25 per cent with a teledensity standing at 107.53 per cent as at end of September 2020. We are also empowering and protecting the consumers and ensuring we are able to sanitise the industry of improperly-registered Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards through our impartial regulatory approach,” Danbatta said.
To continue to collaboratively advance the development of the industry, Danbatta listed key areas of collaboration with the House Committee, going forward. These, according to the EVC, include speedy passage of the Commission’s budget, enhancing mutual working relationship and knowledge transfer sessions/ capacity-building for committee members for better understanding of the workings of the Commission and the industry.
Chairman of the committee, Hon. Akeem Adeyemi, commended the leadership of NCC for its transparency in ensuring remittances to CRF of the Federal Government, considering the current revenue drive of government. The committee urged NCC to sustain its current template of ensuring effective regulation of the telecoms sector in a manner that would be more mutually beneficial to the industry players, consumers of the telecoms services and the Nigerian government.