Why Nigeria goment do U-Turn on telecoms 5% tax proposal

Nigeria federal goment don announce say dem go stop dia planned proposal to collect 5% excise duty for telecommunication services.

Di goment tok dis one say na sake of recommendations of di Presidential Review Committee on Excise Duty in di Digital Economy Sector wey dem arrange to look how di excise duty go work for di telecom sector.

Excise duty na indirect taxes wey dey added on di sale of specific products or services.

Di Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami announce dis one on Tuesday say “additional burden for di telecom sector go increase di suffer-suffer for Nigerians.”

E post am on top im Twitter page say di president insist say oda sectors wey no dey perform make dem dey gingered to improve on revenue generation.

According to wetin Pantami wey be also di oga of di committee tell news pipo, if dem uphold taxes, many businesses for feel am as many MSMEs and SMEs dey depend on di sector to survive.

E also tok say, di telecoms industry dey already pay 41 categories of taxes, levies and charges.

E say, “we increase di revenue we make by 594% from 51 billion quarterly to 481 billion quarterly. Dis na also di only sector wey di price of services don redeuce, so reason no dey make goment add more burden on top dia poor citizens”.

Pantami also tok say di incoming administration go also maintain dis tax exemption.

Wen goment first announce dis plan taxation

For July 2022, Federal goment bin announce plans to add 5% excise duty tax for telecom so dem go fit get more revenue.

Di Nigerian Communication Commission meet with stakeholders later dat month to see how dem go fit implement di move.

Di plan behind di excise duty na to make money wey di kontri go fit spend according to di Minister if Finance Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed

Howeva for September, di Federal goment suspend di tax on telecom services until one committee wey dem set up on top di mata review di policy.

Dis suspension come Oga Pantami bin petition against di policy for im office as di Chairman of di Presidential Council on Digital Economy and eGovernment.

Wetin di excise duty for cause

Woman wey dey phone pesin

Getty Images

Tax on telephone calls go affect mostly poor Nigerians wey dey struggle already, na so one sabi pesin tok.

Hamzat Lawal, founder of Follow the money, say citizens no dey feel di impact of di oda taxes wey dem dey pay since.

E say: “No tax dey healthy or unhealthy because e dey help citizens support goment to build public-use infrastructure.”

“As well as transform different sectors like health and education.”

Lawal also say Nigerians no dey benefit from di tax dem dey pay already.

“Reports say telco operators dey complain about di policy wey mandate citizens to pay extra 5% on phone calls go make tins harder on citizens.

“Wit di current devaluation of di naira and inflation, pesin fit argue say na bad timing to further burden di population. Especially wen little or no tangible results dey for all taxes citizens dey pay.”

Hamzat Lawal bin say as long as paying tax no contribute to community needs, every citizen, including less privileged go dey seriously affected.