Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), says the telecommunications agency has in the last five years, remmited N344.71 billion into the Federal Government’s Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).
Danbatta said this, when the House Committee on Telecommunications, led by their Chairman, Hon. Akeem Adeyemi, paid him a legislative oversight visit at the commission.
This is contained in a statement by the commission’s Director, Public Affairs, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde and issued to newsmen on Thursday in Abuja.
The EVC attributed the successes of the commission in the last five years to its harmonious relationship with the National Assembly, adding that the support brought forth a lot of dividends for the industry.
Danbatta stated that the telecommunications 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.
”Through the support of the lawmakers, especially the 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).
“The remittance is from spectrum fees and operating surplus.
“In financial value, the 14.30 per cent translates to N2.272 trillion in Q2. The telecoms investment grew from around $38 billion in 2015 to over $70 billion currently,” he said.
Speaking further, he said the NCC was promoting financial inclusion by encouraging the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), to actively participate in providing financial services toward actualising Federal Givernment’s 80 per cent financial inclusion target by 2020.
According to him, through the collaboration of critical stakeholders as the National Assembly, the NCC has been able to increase broadband penetration from 6 per cent in 2015 to 45.43 per cent as of September, 2020.
“Basic active internet subscription grew from 90 million to 143.7 million.
”Between 2015 and September, 2020, active voice subscription has increased from 151 million to 205.25 million with a teledensity standing at 107.53 per cent,as at the 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.
To continue to collaboratively advance the development of the industry, Danbatta listed key areas of collaboration with the House Committee, going forward.
The areas include speedy passage of the commission’s budget, enhancing mutual working relationship and capacity building for committee members for better understanding of the workings of the NCC and the industry.
Earlier, Adeyemi, said the over sight function was in line with relevant sections of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution, as amended, which empowers the House to carry out its role of checks and balances on the executive arm of government, under which the NCC, as a federal agency, falls.
He commended the leadership of the NCC for its transparency in ensuring remittances to CRF, considering the current revenue drive of the government.
The committee urged the NCC to sustain its current template of ensuring effective regulation of the telecommuniations sector, in a manner that would be more mutually beneficial to the industry players, the consumers of the telecoms services and to the government.