October 25, 2021


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Telecom revenue: Group urges Reps to speed up probes on operators

 Traders Initiative for Social Development (TISD), an NGO has called on the House of Representatives to speed up action on the proposed panel to probe telecommunication operators’ annual levy to National Communications Commission (NCC).

The organisation, which made the call in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr Ifeanyi Nwaudunna in Abuja, said that the service providers included MTN, AIRTEL, 9 MOBILE, GLO and others.

Nwaudunna said that the Nigerian NCC had been asked to provide the information on the turnover of Telecom Operators to determine the actual levy they were supposed to pay to the government.

He said that for more than a decade, Nigeria had been losing over N2 trillion annually from the levy as revenue accruable to the country from the service providers.

He claimed that the telecom operators declared what they wanted to the NCC as their turnover with allegedly compromise of some few staff of NCC.

He quoted a report by the Reps. Faleke led committee, saying that the NCC had proposed N82 billion as the revenue projection from the operating levy of the telecommunication operators submitted by the commission against the actual expected over N2 trillion revenue generation.

“If the automated system is deployed in the revenue calculation and payment, Nigeria will generate over N2 trillion from the levy of the telecom operators annually,” he said.

Nwaudunna said that a member of the committee revealed that service providers had been short-changing the country by declaring whatever they wished as their revenue.

“TISD asks the reps to mandate the NCC with their proposed public-private partnership initiative programmme to deploy the automated system to calculate and collect the levy from the network operators to meet up with over N2 trillion.

“This is the expected actual and due revenue accruable to the country from the two and half per cent of licensees (service providers) net revenue for the relevant period being the gross revenue,” he said.

He further explained that the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Dambatta, had reiterated that the commission was committed to engaging relevant stakeholders, both in the public and private sectors in the country and beyond.

He said time was to ensure that appropriate infrastructure and technology befitting a modern digital economic system was deployed in the country.

The group, therefore, questioned the delay and postponement of deploying an automation system that ensures adequate and due revenue from the service providers to the country.

“As a matter of urgency and importance, Traders Initiative for Social Development calls on the House of Representatives Committee on ICT to expedite action and process on the proposed probes on the services providers and NCC.

“The planning of public – private partnership initiative programme to deploy a system that will ensure due and actual revenue (levy) accruable to the country from the telecom operators are commiserate with their actual earnings,” he said.

Nwaudunna stressed that Section 3 of the NCC annual operating levy regulation provided that every Licensee-  network operator shall pay to the commission an annual operating level assessed at two and half per cent of licensee’s net revenue for the relevant period being his gross revenue.