The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has exceeded its N36 billion projected revenue from spectrum licence fees for 2021, having recorded over N150 billion from this revenue source within the five months of the year.
The figure represents over 400 per cent increase in revenue budget performance in respect of spectrum fees generated by the commission between January 1 and May 31, 2021, reflecting significant contribution to the revenue drive of the Federal Government.
The N150 billion spectrum revenue achieved in the first half of the year has been remitted to the Federal Government in line with the provisions of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003, which mandates the commission to remit proceeds from spectrum resources wholly into the government’s Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), the commission said.
In its 2021 budget which was considered and approved by both chambers of the National Assembly in December, 2020, the commission projected a revenue of N36 billion from spectrum fee for the year 2021 but has remarkably surpassed the estimate.
Over the years, the NCC has put in place an effective regulatory regime which has significantly facilitated advancements in the nation’s telecom’s industry, boosted Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and improved the operations of licencees as well as boosted government’s revenue generation.
Commenting on the revenue performance, the executive vice chairman of the commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said the impressive uptick in spectrum fee was the result of the favourable turn of events for the telecom sector, which at the time of preparing the estimates for the 2021 budget of the commission was not clear due to the ravaging impact of COVID-19 on the global economy.
He noted that the 10-year spectrum fees made by some of the major operators directly impacted the projected spectrum fee favourably, adding the commission believed that enthronement of effective regulation would continue to improve the general performance of the telecom sector.
On October 28, 2020, Danbatta told members of the House Committee on Telecommunication who were on an oversight function to the commission that the NCC had generated and remitted N344.71 billion to the Federal Government’s CRF in the last five years.
A statement by the commission’s director of public affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, said the chairman of the committee, Hon. Akeem Adeyemi, during the oversight visit, commended NCC’s management for the feat and urged the commission “to sustain its regime of effective regulation of the telecom’s sector in a manner that would be more mutually beneficial to the industry stakeholders, including the consumers of the telecom’s services, the operators and the Nigerian government.”