THE Senate committee on communications has faulted the orders by Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance that the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, and other revenue generating agencies should submit their budgets to the Federal Executive Council, FEC, for approval. Adeosun, who briefed journalists after the first FEC meeting this year, revealed that the relevant agencies had been mandated to present their budgets for approval.
But reacting to the minister’s directive, Solomon Adeola, a senator and vice chairman of the committee, said that under the NCC Act, only the National Assembly was empowered to consider and approve the budget of the NCC. He stressed that any attempt by the executive to approve the budget of the commission was not only illegal but also an encroachment on the function and power of the legislature.
“I am surprise that the minister was quoted as including NCC among other agencies it would require to submit budgets for her and other supervising ministers to approve. As well intentioned as this may seem in the effort to generate revenue and block leakages, it is a flagrant contravention of the NCC Act as well as usurping the power of the National Assembly to approve the budget of NCC,” Adeola said.
The Senate committee vice chairman referred the minister to Sections 17-21 of the NCC Act that dwells on the financial provisions for NCC adding that the proposal of the minister to vet the income and expenditure of the NCC was a breach of Section 25(2) of the Act. According to Adeola, the only fund the NCC is mandated to pay to the consolidated revenue fund of the federation is “all monies accruable from the sale of spectrum” as contained in Section 17(3) of the Act.
While asserting that the NCC was a semi-autonomous commission, the senator declared that the finance minister would only come in if the NCC would want to borrow money, explaining that Section 25(2) of the Act forbids the supervising minister from undue interference.
— Jan 11, 2016 @ 19:10 GMT