Tuesday, May 24, 2022

FEC approves network operators levy collection project, targets N1.2trn in 10 years

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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The Federal Executive Council, FEC, has given approval for the implementation of the Revenue Assurance Solution, RAS, project, to improve the collation and collection of Annual Operating Levy, AOL, from network operators.

This is according to a statement issued on Monday, in Abuja, by Manji Yarling, Acting Head, Media and Publicity, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, ICRC.

He said that the approval followed the review and issuance of compliance certificate of the Full Business Case, FBC, by the ICRC.

It said that RAS, billed to span a 10-year period, is expected to increase the revenue accruals from AOL to about N1.207 trillion within the period.

The RAS, designed by the Nigerian Telecommunications Commission, NCC, and the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, would be developed through the Design, Finance, Build, Operate and Transfer, DFBOT, model of Public Private Partnership, PPP.

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The commission said that given the FEC approval and a requisite vetting by the Ministry of Justice, the next stage would be the commercial close – contract execution, with Messrs 3R consortium as the private partner.

“The NCC proactively initiated the process for the deployment of an RAS with the aim of blocking revenue leakages and ensuring that there are no errors in computing and collection of the AOL, due to the Federal Government.

“The RAS is expected to block possible gaps in revenue accountability, using cutting-edge technology solutions and shall provide additional layer of assurance that the licensees of the commission pay the correct AOLs.

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”Also, that they are expected to meet other regulatory obligations, without any miscalculations and/or exemptions based on faulty and inaccurate data and information.

“The deployment of the RAS platform will significantly improve the NCC’s current AOL revenue computation and collection system, amongst other benefits’’, the statement said.

The commission said that the AOL regulations, which came into force via a 2014 gazette of the Federal Government, as an addendum to the NCC Act of 2003, stipulated in part that;

“Every licensee that is a network operator shall pay to the commission an AOL assessed at 2.5 per cent of the licensee’s net revenue for the relevant period being its gross revenue less its roaming, interconnect and bandwidth costs for the period.”

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It further stipulates that: “every licensee that is a non-network operator shall pay annually to the commission an AOL assessed at one per cent of the licensee’s net revenue for the relevant period, being its gross revenue less its roaming, interconnect and bandwidth costs for the period.”

The ICRC was established to regulate PPP endeavours of the Federal Government with a view to address Nigeria’s physical infrastructure deficit, which hampers economic development.


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