Lawmakers to probe telcos over non-remittance of N200b to NITDA

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Lawmakers are to investigate alleged non-remittance of one per cent annual turnover of each telecoms service providers to the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

All ICT companies in Nigeria are expected to remit one per cent of their annual turnovers to the NITDA Fund – the National Information Technology Development Fund (NITDF). But telcos are alleged not to have made any remittance since 2007 that the Act became effective. Amount involved would be over N200 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Information Communication Technology (ICT), Hon. Lado Abdullahi, told the media last night in Ibadan that the House would seek the support of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), and the State Security Service (SSS), self-styled as the Department of State Services (DSS) for the investigation.

The committee has only one-month to investigate the matter, said Abdullahi, even as he assured that the House would bring the offending operators to book.

His words: They failed to pay “just one per cent of their annual turnover to NITDA for several years since the Act became effective in 2007.

“The NITDA Act says telecoms providers should remit one per cent of their annual turnover to NITDA, which it would use to install infrastructure. But majority of them have been defaulting – they have not been paying this money. That’s why the House has asked us to investigate the matter and prosecute the erring providers accordingly.

“We want to know when last they release their turnover to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) since 2007. And we also need to know whether FIRS truly gets this information from them. FIRS will also provide us with the turnover of each service providers from 2007 till date.

“The Attorney General; the Accountant General; the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will also furnish us with useful information we need to do our job.”

The investigation by the House followed a motion sponsored by a member, representing Ukwa East/West Federal Constituency, Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, in December 2019.

Section 12 of NITDA Act gives room for the establishment of the National Information Technology Development Fund, saying a levy of one per cent of the profit before tax of companies and enterprises enumerated in the Third Schedule of the Act, with an annual turnover of N100,000,000 and above should be paid into the fund.

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