The telecommunication sector has become Father Christmas to the Nigerian government. According to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), it remitted N133.4 billion (about $380 Million), in the last two years, to the federal government purse. This fund comes from the little taxes and fees you pay when you talk or text. Simply, Nigeria is benefiting from the liberalization of the telecommunication sector.
Over N133.4billion has been remitted by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) into the federation account in the last two years.
A document by the NCC Director of Public Affairs Tony Ojobo, revealed this yesterday.Ojobo said the commission remitted over N23 million in October 2015, after an initial remittance of N6, 856,182,132 in September of the same year.
He added that the commission’s last remittance to the consolidated revenue fund, which was on June 30, 2017 was N12, 705,154,120 and came less than 10 days after the NCC had remitted the sum of N1, 282,453,138 to the account.
Also, the NCC last year, transferred N20, 000,598,873 and another N15million in March before remitting N29, 475,867,407 and N16, 500,000,000 in December 2016.
This is the impact of a good policy. When they opened the sector to market forces, government lost its monopoly through NITEL, but today, it is making more and winning despite losing NITEL. In short, NITEL was losing money; but right now Nigeria is making money through a functioning telecommunication sector. We are not talking of the impact of GSM on the economy and the lifestyles of the citizens. We mean the money in the purse of the government.
If they do what they have done in the telecoms sector to the power and water sectors, government will even win through more fees and tax revenues. Market forces make governments look like seers and wizards because when markets function well, governments win. No matter how you see it, Nigeria now has a clear insight on what works: the telecom sector is working well and government should replicate that model in other sectors.
Remember that this monstrous N133.4 billion might not have included the taxes the telcos paid to the Federal Inland Revenue Service and to state governments. And when you consider that Nigeria was largely in recession over the last few years, you can run the numbers to see the impact of the sector in the nation’s finances in the last 17 years. We need to scale markets forces to other sectors.