NCC Introduces Annual Operating Regulatory Levy

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has launched an annual operating regulatory levy to ensure that all licenses are properly assessed towards regulatory expectations and standards. 

Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission made the disclosure on Thursday in Abuja at the Public Inquiry on two regulatory instruments draft.

Danbatta pointed out that the two key regulatory instruments, which were tailored to meet the challenges and to further strengthen the market structure of the industry are the Annual Operating Regulations and the Frequency Spectrum Regulations, which fees and pricing fall under. 

According to him, “The first instrument will bring the regulations in line with current realities and sustain the enviable contributions of the communications sector to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“The second instrument is a vehicle that enables the commission to meet its role and exclusive mandate in Section 121 of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 by assigning this scarce national resource in an equitable manner. 

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“The regulations also ensure that frequency spectrum are assigned and managed in a way that ensures fair pricing and efficient deployment of attendant services. 

He added that “the public inquiry is a precursor to the commission’s current drive to ensure efficiency in spectrum management and unveiling of next-generation services through varied enablers,” he added. 

Prof. Danbatta also stated that the NCC started the Fifth Generation (5G) technology in Nigeria, which largely depended on the appropriate frequency spectrum which raises the need for attendant secondary reliance on different approaches to maximize frequency spectrum, including the recent identification of some Spectrum frequencies for 5G deployment. 

“We must be prepared on both ends of the industry to push the country forward for these remarkable changes, while the licences continue to invest in deployment. 

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“The Commission will sustain its drive-by ensuring regulatory efficiency and excellence,” he said. 

He encouraged stakeholders at the hearing to ensure inclusive contribution and raise issues that would assist the Commission in developing and issuing regulatory instruments that will enable the NCC to contribute to the development of telecoms in Nigeria.

Director, Legal and Regulatory Services of the Commission, Ms. Josephine Amuwa, said the Annual Operating Levy Regulations review will look at the current licensing structure and ensure that all the spectra of licensees will be properly covered. 

“On the other hand, the review of the second regulation, the Frequency Spectrum (Fees and Pricing) Regulations is expected to provide more guidelines on the parameter for determination of proper fees and pricing of spectrum,” she said. 

Earlier this month that the NCC said that it generated a revenue of over N150 billion from spectrum license fees within the first 5 months of 2021, exceeding its N36 billion projection for the year.

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This figure represents an over 400% increase in budgeted revenue performance with respect to spectrum fees generated by the commission between January 1 and May 31, 2021.

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