The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia’s (CRAN) revenue for the financial year 2021 decreased by a massive 63 percent.
This is stated in the authority’s latest annual report for the financial year 2020/21.
“Revenue for the year under review decreased by 63 percent, from N$91 million in 2020 to N$33.3 million in 2021, with spectrum fees, numbering fees, and type approval fees contributing to 100 percent of the revenue,” said the annual report.
Their revenue was primarily generated from regulatory levies from telecommunications and broadcasting service licensees, spectrum fees, revenues from numbering plans, and approval fees.
In addition, the regulatory levies are calculated as a percentage of operators’ turnover based on a progressive license fee formula that caps the maximum percentage at 1.5 percent.
The report stated that spectrum fees, which comprised 96 percent of the revenue generated, are derived from radio licenses.
“The type approval fees, which made up 1.0 percent of revenue, are derived from charges for the use of telecommunications equipment in Namibia. Numbering fees, which make up 3.7 percent, are derived from the utilisation of the numbering plan by telecommunications licensees,” said the report.
According to the communications regulatory authority, the reduction in revenue continues to be affected by the 11 June 2018 Supreme Court decision.
The court at that time declared section 23(2)(a) and regulation 6, the basis on which the regulator was determining regulatory levy, as unconstitutional, and that the authority could no longer raise revenue on that basis from that date onwards.
Meanwhile, CRAN’s operating expenses decreased by 62.3 percent, from N$135.4 million in 2020 to N$47 million in 2021.
CRAN said the main reason for the decrease is ascribed to the decline in the provision for bad debt stemming from the numbering plan invoices, as well as prudent cost management measures introduced by management.
“The authority’s assets decreased by N$14.4 million to N$130.9 million as of 31 March 2021 (31 March 2020: N$145.4 million),” the report further discloses.
The decrease, Cran said, is the result of the loss for the period and a reduction in the book values of property, plant and equipment, and right-of-use assets.
The authority’s total operating expenses for the period under review stood at N$47 million and N$135.4 million in 2020.
Cran spent a total of N$42.9 million on employee salaries and benefits.
“Staff training and development amounted to N$652,426, employee wellness at N$323,432. bad debts (N$19.3 million), consulting and professional fees at N$3 million, legal expenses at N$1.7 million, special projects at N$1.2 million, ICT communications at N$2 million, and general operating expenditure at N$1.3 million.”
On regulatory summons, the report said during the period under review Cran issued 19 regulatory summons, all of which have been finalised.
“The total amount of fines issued and paid by 12 of the Licensees was N$791,000. Seven Licensees pleaded not guilty, with the explanation accepted by the authority,” the report said.