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[Nigeria] Telecoms: NCC queries Falana’s claims on N600bn yearly loss

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday faulted Lagos lawyer Mr. Femi Falana’s (SAN) claim that the country was losing about N600 billion due to the failure of the commission to issue “contract award letter” to a firm that allegedly won the contract for the implementation of “Revenue Assurance Software”.
Falana had threatened to sue the NCC within two weeks, if it fails to issue the letter.
The NCC, however, faulted Falana’s claim, assuring stakeholders in the telecoms industry that it would remain committed to due process and high integrity in its regulatory roles.
Its Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management Mr. Sunday Dare, in a statement, asserted that there was no iota of truth in the allegation of revenue losses to the tune of N600 billion in the telecom industry.
Dare said: “Our attention has been drawn to sponsored  reports alleging that the Federal Government of Nigeria is losing up to ‘N600 billion yearly’, ostensibly because of the alleged failure of the NCC to issue a ‘contract award letter’ to a firm, which supposedly won a contract to implement a ‘Revenue Assurance Software’.
“Ideally, the commission would not join issues in the media, on what is essentially an ongoing procurement exercise of a very sensitive nature. We are, however, obliged to make this clarification so as to set the records straight, and to reassure stakeholders of the commission’s commitment to due process, as well as the integrity of its regulatory and other processes, which were unfairly called into question by the said media publications.
“For the records, there is no iota of truth whatsoever in the allegation of revenue losses to the tune of N600 billion from the telecoms industry.
“The NCC’s initiative of implementing a Revenue Assurance System for the industry was motivated by the commission’s firm belief that although the telecoms industry currently contributes a significant portion of the national GDP and government revenues, the industry has the potentials to generate more revenue for government along its value chain than is currently the case.
“Also, although the commission has deployed remarkably stringent processes with which it monitors the industry and collects all due revenues, we considered it necessary to enhance the effectiveness of these processes by proactively blocking any potential gaps, through the use of available and proven cutting-edge technology solutions.
“The Revenue Assurance System is, therefore, to provide an additional layer of assurance that our licensees continue to meet their obligations without fail. The wildly exaggerated ‘loss of N600 billion annually’ to non-implementation of a particular system by a particular vendor as alleged in the said publications is therefore simply not true.
“The proposed figure is the projected revenue that consultants claim can be gotten.  Until a proof of concept POC is done, this figure is in the realm of imagination.
“We also wish to clarify that having made the decision to implement a Revenue Assurance System, the NCC has been painstakingly following all mandated due process in its procurement, including engagement with the Bureau of Public Process, the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC).”

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