Represesntatives Passes N63.1 Billion NCC Budget, Rejects N6.1 Billion SIM Card Registration

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

The House of Representatives has passed the 2010 budget of N 63.1 billion for the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) with recurrent, capital and special projects expenditure amounting to N 9.7 billion, N23.3 billion and N13 billion respectively.

Chairman, House Committee on Communications, Dave Salako, however, explained that the commission as a revenue generating agency was empowered by the Act to keep unspent fund.

The balance brought forward stood at N29 billion while income was N42.6 billion.

However, an attempt to include the N 6.1 billion proposed for SIM card registration was rejected by members who unanimously voted against its inclusion in the commission's budget.

A member of the House from Akwa Ibom state, Ita Enang said that the amount allocated for SIM card registration should be included for security reasons.

His counterpart from Delta State, Leo Ogor added however that the sum should be included in the budget stressing that the House Committee on Communications should ensure that the fund was judiciously utilised.

Rabe Nasir, a lawmaker from Katsina State however opposed the inclusion of the sum in the budget.

He argued that SIM card registration was not the duty of the NCC, but that of the telecommunication operators

He said that law governing advanced fee fraud, popularly called '419,' had provided for the registration of subscribers.

His view was corroborated by Daniel Reyemeju from Delta said that the issue of SIM card registration had been rejected by the House, adding that there was no need to revisit it.

Contributing, Abdul Ningi from Bauchi who queried the Commission's failure to remit unspent funds from 2007 and 2008 budget , called on to furnish the House on the where about of the fund.

Lanre Agoro from Oyo State observed that there were leakages in the implementation of the commission's budget and called for the review of the commission's Act.

Meanwhile, four new bills were introduced on the floor of the House; they include the Dispute Resolution Bill, Office of the Nigerian Ombudsman Bill, Air Force Technology Institute Bill and the Nigerian International Financial Centre Bill.