The Senate has asked the Nigerian Communications Commission to take the advantage of the National Policy for Fifth Generation network, to generate N350bn for the Federal Government in the 2022 fiscal year.
This was the verdict of the Senate joint committees working on the 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper, when the management of the NCC appeared before the panels of the red chamber.
The Chairman of the joint committees, Senator Solomon Adeola, said the 2022 budget of the NCC would not be N115bn, which it had projected.
He said, “We are proposing about N350bn. This is because there must be projection for the sale of the spectrum following the launch of the 5G network.”
The Federal Government on Wednesday approved the National Policy for Fifth Generation network to boost the country’s digital economy.
The approval was made after a presentation by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami.
This was contained in a press statement titled ‘Federal Executive Council approves 5G Policy for Nigeria,’ issued by the minister’s Technical Assistant on Information Technology, Dr Femi Adeluyi.
The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the NCC, Umar Danbatta, while defending his agency’s budget before the Senate MTEF/FSP panels said the agency could generate up to N400bn from the spectrum auction next year.
Danbatta said his agency projected a budget of N162bn for 2021 but that, in the first quarter of 2021, “we have exceeded that amount because we were able to generate N181bn.”
“This is because two of our mobile network operators, the MTN and Airtel, requested for spectrum and that really gave us a lot of revenue.”
For the 2022 fiscal year, he said, “we are projecting N115bn. The projection did not take into consideration the 5G spectrum auction.”
The NCC boss said, “Each slot of the 5G spectrum is going for an exact price of N75bn. However, in an auction, it can go as high as N100bn.