Alleged N17bn budget deficit report has been dismissed by NCC.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has dismissed a report by an online publication that it incurred a deficit of N17bn, describing the story as totally untrue and a figment of the writer’s imagination.

The Commission expressed concerns over the report titled “NCC Incurs a Deficit of N17bn, Spending N35.2bn on Personnel, Consultancy Fees,” noting that the inability of the online publication to accurately interpret the contents of its 2021 Annual Reports which have been made public was responsible for the error in the report.

“The publication gave the wrong impression that the Commission incurred a N17bn deficit because of expenditures on personnel and consultancy fees. This is far from the truth,” NCC said in a statement signed by the Director, Public Affairs, Reuben Muoka.

Clearing the air on the issue, the Commission said: “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.

“The Commission reiterates its commitment to effective and transparent processes in all its regulatory, management and financial activities.”

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