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NCC implements Accounting Separation Framework in telecoms industry

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Nigerian Communications Commissions (NCC) NCC has commenced the implementation of the Accounting Separation Framework (ASF) in the Nigerian telecoms industry effective from July 15.

Kano Focus reports that the program is to ensure transparency and accountability in regard to effective regulation and prevention of anti-competitive behavior.

A statement sent to Kano Focus by the commission’s Director, Public Affairs, Ikechukwu Adinde said NCC is committed to the creation of an enabling environment for competition among operators in the industry to ensure the provision of qualitative and efficient telecoms services as stipulated in Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003.

According to the statement, the policy document, “Determination on the Implementation of an Accounting Separation Framework for the Nigerian Telecoms Industry”, which was developed via a consultative process in 2015, has undergone a comprehensive review by the regulator in collaboration with telecoms licensees and other critical industry stakeholders.

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The statement said with the commencement of the implementation of the framework, telecoms licensees are, henceforth, obligated to submit their Regulatory Financial Statement (RFS) to the Commission in line with the new ASF, within seven months after the end of the licensees’ financial year.

Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC expressed optimism about the framework noting that “the new ASF will promote an industry environment that fosters open and transparent financial reporting, while ensuring that charges for telecom services are cost-based and non-discriminatory.”

The Commission, however, stated that submission of RFS in line with the new framework, is currently limited to and mandatory for only six telecom licensees, adding that this will subsist for an initial period of two years after which the regulator may review the list to include other operators.

The six licensees include Airtel Nigeria, MTN Nigeria, Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services Limited (9Mobile), Globacom Nigeria, Main One Cable Company Limited and IHS Nigeria.

Adducing reasons for limiting compliance to six operators for now, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, Umar Garba Danbatta, said the decision was taken to ensure necessary structure is in place for reviewing and analysing the accounts before applying the new framework to all licensees in the industry.

Mr Danbatta, however, stated that any other licensee willing to prepare its financial statements in line with the new framework is allowed to voluntarily do so, just as he said the Commission may exercise its discretion to demand that a licensee prepare and submit separated account where it is determined that the activities of such a service provider are deemed critical to the overall well-being of the Nigerian telecoms industry.

“Therefore, for full and effective implementation of the Framework, every operator under the ambit of accounting separation is required to prepare an Operator-specific Accounting Separation Manual (OASM) containing policies, principles, methodologies and procedures for accounting and cost allocation, which must be submitted to the Commission on or before October 30, 2020 for regulatory approval.

“Licensees shall also be required to prepare their financial and non-financial reports in line with the Guidelines for the ASF while reports shall be furnished by the licensees for every account year beginning from the 2020 financial year end.

“Also, as part of operators’ licensing conditions, the Commission requires licensees to prepare, in respect of each complete financial year or of such lesser periods as may be specified, separated accounting statements for all their activities,” the statement said.

According to Danbatta, the Commission considers the Accounting Separation Framework “as an effective, least evasive and less costly solution to implement to meet its regulatory objectives”, adding that the implementation of the Framework is also a key deliverable for the Commission in the new National Broadband Plan (NBP), 2020-2025.”

The EVC added that the Commission took into consideration the inputs from industry stakeholders and has provided capacity-building for operators and for relevant staff of the Commission to ensure seamless implementation of the Framework.

Mr Danbatta further reiterated the commitment of the Commission towards continually developing policies, initiatives and programmes aimed at boosting healthy competition among telecoms operators in the country to ensure that consumers continue to enjoy efficient and affordable telecom services.

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EFCC Grills Rabiu Kwankwaso

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Rabiu Kwankwaso

Nasiru Yusuf

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Saturday grilled former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso over allegations of abuse of office, diversion of public funds and fraudulent allocation of government properties to cronies.

KANO FOCUS reports that Kwankwaso, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, was first invited by the EFCC in September but failed to honour the invitation as reported by Channels TV.

An associate of the politician informed Channels Television that Kwankwanso may have been invited in relation to a petition by some retired employees of the Kano State Government.

The retired employees had told the EFCC that the former governor mismanaged pension remittances to the tune of N10 billion between 2011 and 2015, to fund a housing project for his cronies.

EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren did not comment on the interrogation of the former governor when contacted on Saturday.

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Crisis rocks Kano APC as Ganduje, Shekarau hold parallel Congress

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Aminu Abdullahi

Crisis rocked Kano chapter of All Progressive Congress (APC), as Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and faction loyal to former governor of Kano and serving Senator Ibrahim Shekarau held parallel state congress.

KANO FOCUS reports that while Ganduje group held their congress at Sani Abacha stadium, faction loyal to Shekarau had their own at Janguza town, Tofa local government area.

Ganduje’s led group endorsed Abdullahi Abbas as state chairman of APC for a second term in a consensus arrangement, while the faction loyal to Shekarau announced Ahmadu Haruna Zago as newly elected chairman of APC in Kano state.

Reports shows that the security have earlier disrupted Shekarau’s camp congress at Sani Abacha youth centre and sealed the premises before they moved to Janguza where they held the election.

Below are some pictures of the parallel Congress.

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje while voting at Sani Abacha stadium

 

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje with APC chieftains

 

Delegates at Sani Abacha stadium

Ballot box

Factional chairman of Kano APC Ahmadu Haruna Zago

Ahmadu Haruna Zago and Abdilkadir Jobe

APC factional congress at Janguza

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NCC moves to address poor network service at densely populated Kano markets – Prof Danbatta.

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Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta

Nasiru Yusuf

 

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) Umar Garba Danbatta says the commission will address the poor network at Kantin Kwari, Sabongari Singer and Kurmi markets.

KANO FOCUS reports that Danbatta announced revealed this while responding to complaint raised by a participant at a two day stakeholders consultative meeting tagged ‘talk to the regulator’ organised by Nigerian Communications Commission in Kano.

The complainer noted that that there is poor telecommunications service in Kantin Kwari, Sabongari, Singer and Kurmi markets in Kano metropolitan area.

Danbatta responded that the commission will deploy investigative team to determine the nature of the problem and proffer solution.

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta

“We have the capacity to monitor the performance of MNOs, that is the most important thing. Because of this valid observation by our stakeholder, we are going to direct our searchlight in those areas where we think the quality of service needs to improve.

“And if it is necessary, we will send the investigative team what is the nature of the quality of service in such places with a view to improve the quality of the service,” Danbatta said.

The Executive Vice Chairman explained that the commission considers stakeholder feedback “as a critical component of our forward – looking regulatory model.”

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta with senior management staff of NCC

“Hence, the overarching objective of this forum is to get direct feedback from our licensees on how we, as a regulator, are meeting your expectations, and on areas where we can improve our regulatory service, particularly those that have to do with licensing.

“We also intend to use this forum to seek your support for the several initiatives that the commission has carefully developed in our quest to enhance market opportunities for all our licensees.”

Danbatta added that the commission will focus it’s energies for the next five years on five strategic pillars.

Participants

The pillars according to him include “organisational renewal for operational efficiency and regulatory excellence.

“Facilitate the provision of infrastructure for a digital economy which fosters national development.

“Improve quality service (QoS) for enhanced consumer quality of experience (QoE).

“Promote fair competition, inclusive growth, increased investment and innovative services as well facilitate strategic collaboration and partnership.”

Participants

He disclosed that the federal government has articulated a number of critical policy objectives for the sector such as those articulated in the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025), the Revised National Digital Identity Policy for SIM Registration among others.

He added that the instruments require the full and unalloyed commitment of all stakeholders to ensure their successful implementation, and the meeting in Kano would provide a veritable channel for licensees’ buy-in.

Participants

In his address the Director of Licensing and Authorisation Department, Mohammed Babajika, said the commission is further liberalising the telecoms industry by finalising the framework for Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) and is currently reviewing existing regulations.

“The Commission is also finalising the Information Memorandum (IM) for 5G deployment, emerging trends like Internet of Things (loT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Over The Top (OTT) Services and Big Data Analytics, all aimed at initiating strategies to improve service delivery that is accessible and affordable.

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