NCC remits N362.34bn to Federal Government ― Danbatta

Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Danbatta, says the commission remitted N362.34 billion into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of the Federal Government between 2015 and now.

At an interactive session with media managers and news editors at the weekend, he also noted that broadband penetration jumped from six per cent in 2015 to 43.02 per cent by the end of June 2020 leading to 199,307,796 by the end of the first half of 2020.

According to him, the N362.34 billion was generated through spectrum fees and operating surplus, which has helped to boost the revenue-generation drive of the current administration.

“The amount generated through that singular initiative has brought significant revenue to the government.”

Dambatta said the various achievements recorded by the commission since he was appointed in 2015 was as a result of key policy initiatives to improve broadband penetration embarked upon by the commission.

“These include increasing the number of licensed Infrastructure Companies (InfraCo) to six across the geo-political zones, spectrum refarming, spectrum re-planning, spectrum auctions, and administrative spectrum assignments, among others.

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“The Commission is presently in the process of finalizing the six Infraco’s counterpart funding agreement to ensure the full rollout of broadband infrastructure on an Open Access Model (OAM) and this will ensure there is Point of Access in each of the 774 local governments in the country,” he added.

Dambatta who started his second five-year term on August 3, To optimise the usage and benefit of the spectrum, a number of initiatives such as spectrum trading, infrastructure sharing, satellite infrastructure and wireless infrastructure have been put in place to drive socio-economic development.

For instance, the transfer of the spectrum licence of 2X 10MHz in the 900MHz E-GSM Spectrum band from Intercellular Nigeria to Airtel networks Limited amounted to the sum of N8.9 billion.

The amount generated through that singular initiative has brought significant revenue to the government.

It is interesting to mention that all the initiatives above have helped the Commission in identifying potential frequency bands to be harmonized for 5G deployment, which includes 26 GHz, 38GHz and 42GHz.

He said NCC has awarded N336.4 million as research grants to the academia and endowed professorial chairs in two Nigerian universities.

“More importantly, we have empowered Nigerian youths by promoting their ingenuity and innovation in the development of locally-relevant technology solutions.

“The latest of such was the 2020 NCC Virtual Hackathon, where we gave N9 million in grant to three top promising tech startups for solutions aimed at addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and epidemic diseases in the thematic areas of Health, Community, Productivity, Economy and Transportation.”

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