The Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy has announced plans to invest N41.6 billion of Its internally generated revenue (IGR) to provide broadband access at universities, airports, and marketplaces.
The N41.6 billion in internally generated revenue (IGR) that the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy has planned will be used to provide broadband access at universities, airports, and marketplaces.
The Minister, Prof. Isa Pantami, said the N41.6 billion was produced internally by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) at a news briefing on Thursday in Abuja.
In three rounds of the gesture, he said that the money will fund initiatives in 113 tertiary institutions, airports, and marketplaces.
“The total amount we have committed to spend is approximately N41.6billion.
“19 universities, one Federal College of Education, 20 markets and the second and third phases, we have provision for 20 airports, six additional markets and 49 higher institutions of learning.
“The whole money is from our internally generated revenue that we have decided to spend to other institutions and support without retaining any money from that amount.”
He said that certain institutions' phase one implementation levels ranged from 72% to 91%, necessitating the implementation of phases 2 and 3 of the interventions in institutions, airports, and marketplaces.
Pantami said to have persuaded both the Executive Vice-Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, and the Chairman of the NCC Board, Prof. Adeolu Akande, to use the funds in other fields, including as business and education.
“I presented my argument to both of them and I was able to convince them and they agreed with me that this money is worth spending in other sectors.
“Instead of spending this money in our sector, it is better to sacrifice it on other sectors , particularly education, commerce and others within the country.
“We generated our revenue internally. What we can generate other sectors cannot be able to do that.
“It is important to realise that this is not just direct government intervention, but it is an intervention that we willingly sacrificed from our IGR.”
Pantami cited Section 21 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007 as having a clear statement that 20% of IGR earned by legal operators was kept.
80 per cent of IGR had to be sent to the federation's consolidated revenue account, according to section 22, he said.
According to the established policy, the minister gave his assurance that the communications industry will continue to give priority to initiatives in other industries.
“The more you grow higher it is no more about yourself. It is how you touch other people’s lives positively and that is the beauty.
“I received an update from the NCC with regards to the implementation of what we have done on November 24, 2022, based on the record.
“Generally, one can safely say that the first phase had been implemented.
“So, it is because of this that I felt it is the right time to commence phase two and phase three,” he stated
“We presented a council memo for the second and third phased and all of them had been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, that is why we are here,” he said.
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