By Oluwatobi Opusunju
Federal coffers, in the last two years, had enjoyed a N133, 426,062,786 revenue boosts from the Nigeria’s telecoms regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to underscore the increasing value of the telecom market to Nigeria’s economy.
Also, Nigeria’s broadband penetration has improved considerably to 21 percent from less than 10 percent two years ago, according to the report by the ITU-UNESCO Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development. Nigeria is targeting a 30 percent broadband penetration by 2018, next year.
The NCC regulates the telecom sector valued in excess of trillions since the sector was deregulated over a decade ago. “Although NCC’s primary role is not to generate revenue for the government, but to nurture and regulate the industry, figures obtained from the commission show impressive remittance of funds to the coffers of the consolidated revenue of the Federal Government, especially in the last two years,” said Director of Public Affairs at the NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo.
“For instance, the Commission’s last remittance to the consolidated revenue fund, which was on June 30, 2017, was N12,705,154,120 and it came just less than 10 days after the NCC remitted the sum of N1,282,453,138 to the account.
Despite Nigeria’s recent struggle with recession, the telecoms sector maintained an upbeat and in spite of several challenges faced by operators. Ojobo while referring to the National Bureau of Statistics report, said during the second quarter of 2017, the sector contributed 9.5 percent to the GDP in contrast to 9.1 percent contribution in the first quarter of the year.
“The NCC last year, transferred N20,000,598,873 and another N15,000,000,000 in March before remitting N29,475,867,407 and N16,500,000,000 in December of the 2016. In 2015, however, the commission remitted N23,512,316,450 in October after paying N6,856,182,132 in September of the same year. It is noteworthy also that the quarterly contribution of telecom sector to the GDP has been consistently impressive in the last two years,” said Ojobo in the statement.
“We are very proud of the remarkable contribution the sector is making. Even at the recent times when the whole economy was facing challenges, the sector had remained resilient and stable,” added Ojobo while quoting the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta.