NCC to Sell 2.6GHz Band

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Eugene Juwah

THE Nigeria Communications Commission, NCC, has concluded plans for the sale of the 2.6GHz spectrum. Speaking at a forum in Lagos, Peter Igoh, chairman, NCC, said the transparent way in which the commission had conducted its licensing processes, including auctions, have been globally recognised. He said the forum was part of the NCC’s consultative disposition in which it strives to ensure inclusiveness in its decision-making processes, fairness and openness in dealings, and predictability in the nation’s telecom regulatory atmosphere.

Igoh said that the commission has commenced the processes for the selection of infrastructure companies for Lagos and north central region in line with the open access model that was launched in 2014. He said in due course, qualified companies would be selected in that process to give impetus to the drive to achieve robust deployment and service provisioning for broadband services across the country.

On his part, Austin Nwaulune, director, spectrum administration, NCC, said the commission has 2 x 70 MHz Slot in the 2.6GHz Band up for sale. He said they were determined to put it up for the most qualified organisations to utilise them for the benefit of the nation. Listing issues involved in the process such as the possibility of introducing spectrum caps, licensing options, tenures, roll out obligations and some key issues that the commission’s auction committee might have put up for consideration, Nwaulune said the commission’s transparent disposition in the way and manner in which the auction would be conducted was  not negotiable.

Lanre Ajayi, president, Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria, ATCON, has applauded the sense of seeking stakeholders’ views on the process but sought to know why, even though close to 30 companies expressed interest during the sale of 2.3GHz band earlier in the year, only two went ahead to bid. He urged the NCC to review the process and create changes for business viability.

According to him, most organisations might become sceptical about the bidding should the NCC fail to declare its intentions on time, citing the sale of 2.6GHz few months after the 2.3GHz as unpalatable for ventures. On the modalities of the licensing model, Ajayi said he believes in spectrum trading, where a company with either a national or a regional licence can have the leverage of selling the same to another company without being queried by the NCC.

FIRS’s Plan to Improve Tax Net

THE Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, has introduced fresh initiatives to improve the current level of non-oil tax revenue collection in the country. The move, according to Kabir Mashi, acting executive chairman, FIRS, is part of the efforts to improve the major indices of growth such as the ratio of oil to non-oil tax revenue collection and the tax to GDP ratio.

He said with the assistance of McKinsey and Company, the service had identified eight key initiatives as a platform for achieving its goals. These initiatives, he noted, were in the areas of audit, arrears and debt enforcement, review of tax exemptions, evasion of rental taxes, taxation of high net worth transactions, registration, filing and communication. All these, he explained, would serve as a means of enhancing compliance with tax laws.

Mashi
Mashi

“We have already become the largest economy in Africa. However, there is still work to be done in various areas of our economy, including the tax system, where we are putting in necessary efforts to improve the major indices of growth, such as the ratio of oil to non-oil tax revenue collection and our tax to GDP ratio. With the assistance of McKinsey, we have thus identified eight key initiatives as a platform for achieving our goals. These initiatives are in the areas of audits, arrears and debt enforcement, review of tax exemptions, evasion of rental taxes, taxation of high net worth transactions, registration, filing and communication as a means of enhancing compliance,” he said.

According to Mashi, the initiative provided an opportunity to solicit the continued cooperation of all stakeholders to ensure that the FIRS would be able to fulfil its core mandate of revenue generation in a manner that was sustainable. He urged all ministries, departments and agencies of government to support the drive of the FIRS in improving tax revenue by deducting and remitting withholding tax and value added tax promptly from all payments made to contractors and service providers.

“You should assist your staff in complying with annual filing requirements and also in processing tax clearance certificates through official channels, so that your employees do not patronise touts or obtain fake tax clearance certificates. In addition, you should continue to assist us with relevant data and information on taxpayers, should we require such and also verify with us any tax documents, which your contractors provide, especially tax clearance certificates.” He warned those who defaulted in their tax obligations to fully comply as the FIRS would not hesitate to invoke its powers of sanction under the tax laws.

New Accounting Standard for SMEs

INTERNATIONAL Financial Reporting Standard, IFRS, for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, SMEs is expected to be adopted from December 31, 2014. Uloma Ojinmah, senior manager, capital markets and accounting advisory services group, PriceWaterhouseCooppers Nigeria, PWC, disclosed this during an IFRS Media Training Workshop organised by BusinessDay Nigeria in Lagos.

Jim Obazee, executive secretary, FRCN
Jim Obazee, executive secretary, FRCN

Speaking on the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, FRCN, roadmap and its implication, Ojinmah said the phase one implementation of the IFRS started with publicly listed entities and significant public interest entities. “These entities were expected to prepare their financial statements using applicable IFRS by December 31. 2012. For the phase two implementation, other public interest entities are expected to comply with the standard. In fact, all public interest entities are expected to mandatorily adopt IFRS, for statutory purposes by December 31, 2013. The other public interest entities are entities that are not listed which have significant public interest because of the nature of business, size and number of employees. For the phase three, it is expected that SMEs will adopt theirs from December. In fact, IFRS for the SMEs shall mandatorily be adopted by December 31, 2014,” she said.

Ojinmah explained that while adopting the IFRS for the first time, a company’s first set of IFRS financial statement should present its financial position and performance as if the company had reported using IFRS. “Twenty optional exemptions and seven mandatory exceptions limit extent of retrospective application are available to guide companies when applying the principle. Adjustments are required to assets and liabilities to establish the opening statement of financial position. Such adjustments, which are to be passed via retained earnings include: recognition of new assets and liabilities; de-recognition of some assets and liabilities and re-measurement of some assets and liabilities by using fair value versus historic cost.”

According to her, the IFRS will have a broad impact on Nigerian companies as every detail of information required in preparing financial statements is required. Some of the impacts, she said, include: capital impact, tax impact, analyst reactions, share price impact, peer comparability, amongst others. She stated that IFRS would impact on businesses in many ways, such as: people, business relationships, tax and regulation, communications, financial implications, and systems and processes.

Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu

— Sep. 15, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT

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