The Nigerian Communications Commissions (NCC) has said it is now mandatory that six telecom licensees, including Airtel and MTN, submit their financial statements to the telecom industry regulator.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by Ikechukwu Adinde, NCC director for public affairs, on Tuesday.
According to the statement, this move will help the NCC to further ensure transparency and accountability as regards effective regulation and prevention of anti-competitive behaviour.
The commission said it has begun the implementation of the accounting separation framework (ASF) in the telecoms industry, which took effect on July 15, 2020.
“With the commencement of the implementation of the framework, telecoms licensees are, henceforth, obligated to submit their regulatory financial statement (RFS) to the commission in line with the new ASF, within seven months after the end of the licensees’ financial year,” the statement read.
The six licensees include Airtel Nigeria, MTN Nigeria, 9Mobile, Globacom Nigeria, Main One Cable Company Limited and IHS Nigeria.
Umar Danbatta(pictured), the executive vice-chairman of NCC, said the new ASF will promote an environment that fosters open and transparent financial reporting while ensuring that charges for telecom services are cost-based and non-discriminatory.
The statement further disclosed that the submission of the financial statements by the six telecom licensees will subsist for an initial period of two years after which NCC may review the list to include other operators.
Danbatta said the reason for limiting the submission to the six telecom operators was to ensure that the necessary structure is in place for reviewing and analysing the accounts before applying the new framework to all licensees.
According to Danbatta, the commission considers the ASF “as an effective, least evasive and less costly solution to implement to meet its regulatory objectives”, and that the implementation of the framework is also a key deliverable for the commission in the 2020-2025 national broadband plan (NBP).