The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has described as untrue, an online publication (not Digital TimesNG) which claimed that the Commission incurred a budget deficit of N17bn, Spending N35.2bn on Personnel and Consultancy Fees in 2021.
The NCC in a rebuttal contained in a statement on Tuesday evening and signed by its Director, Public Affairs, Reuben Muoka, expressed concern with the inability of the online publication to accurately interpret the contents of its 2021 Annual Reports which have been made public.
It noted that it was as a result of this inability that the publication gave a wrong impression that the Commission incurred a N17bn deficit because of expenditures on personnel and consultancy fees, and described the report as “far from the truth.”
Muoka stated in the rebuttal that though the Statement of the Financial Performance of the Commission for the period ended December 2021, clearly indicates that the sum of N17.3bn was a “Surplus/(Deficit) retained for the period”, this does not imply that the Commission incurred a cash deficit as the expenditure in its financials were both in cash and accruals applicable to the year.
“If the publication had inquired of the constituents of our expenditure, it would have learnt that the expenditures for the year 2021 included accruals for items undergoing procurement at the end of the year, like the State Accelerated Broadband Initiative, SABI, being implemented by the Commission, which was standing in the sum of about N24bn in the financial report.
“The Commission also remitted an Operating Surplus/Spectrum Fees of estimated N197.7bn to the Federal Government, under the same Financial Performance Reporting period, and had a bank balance of about N46.97bn, erasing any doubt that there was any deficit spending.
“The Commission, therefore, disclaims the wrong impression created by the above headline, and subsequent misinterpretation of our financial report in the publication may have had in the minds of the public, and stakeholders,” Muoka explained in the press statement.
He reiterated the Commission’s commitment to effective and transparent processes in all its regulatory, management, and financial activities.