Cost Of Calls, Data To Rise As FG Increases Tax On Telecom Providers

…Telcos Kick Against Policy

Nigerians will pay higher for calls, data and SMS as the Federal Government is planning to implement the five per cent additional tax on telecommunication services.

This was revealed by the Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, during the stakeholders’ forum on the implementation of excise duty on telecommunications services.

Telecoms are charged 7.5 per cent but the review will increase their tax liability to 12.5 per cent when implemented.

The minister represented by Mr Frank Oshanipin, the Assistant Chief Officer of the Ministry, said the five per cent excise duty is contained in the finance Act 2020, according to NAN.

She said, “Payments are to be made on monthly basis, on or before 21st of every month. The duty rate was not captured in the Act because it is the responsibility of the President to fix rate on excise duties and he has fixed five per cent for telecommunication services which include GSM.

“It is public knowledge that our revenue cannot run our financial obligations, so we are to shift our attention to non-oil revenue.

“The responsibility of generating revenue to run government lies with us all.’’

Speaking at the event, the Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecom Owners of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo said consumers would bear the burden of the additional five per cent tax.

He said, “It means that subscribers will now pay 12.5 per cent tax on telecom services, we will not be able to subsidise the five per cent excise duty on telecom services.

“This is as a result of the 39 multiple taxes we are already paying coupled with the epileptic power situation as we spend so much on diesel.

“We pay two per cent excise duty to NCC from our revenue, 7.5 per cent VAT and other 39 taxes. We are going to pass it to the subscribers because we cannot subsidise it.’’

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