Finance Ministry, National Assembly Fight over NCC’s Budget

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Solomon Adeola

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THE federal ministry of finance and the National Assembly are fighting over the budget of the Nigerian Communications Commission.

Senator Solomon Adeola, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Communications, has queried the legality behind Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance’s call on the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, to submit its annual budget for approval.

Adeola, representing Lagos West senatorial district, argued that the NCC Act mandated only the National Assembly to approve the budget of the NCC and not the ministry of finance.

According to him, “Any attempt by the finance minister and the supervising minister to approve the budget of NCC would amount to a breach of the law and an encroachment on the function and power of the legislature.”

The minister of finance had included the Nigerians Communications Commission alongside among other revenue generating agencies to submit their annual budget for consideration and approval. The Ministry said the action is part of its efforts to block revenue leakages and ultimately generate more revenues.

But referring the minister to Sections 17 to 21 of the NCC Act that dwell on the financial provisions for the commission, Senator Adeola said the only fund, which the NCC was mandated to pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation, is revenue accruing from the sales of spectrum.

He argues that the NCC is a semi-autonomous commission, adding that the finance minister could only come in if the NCC wanted to borrow money.

— Jan 11, 2016 @ 20:40 GMT

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