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FG removes 5% tax on calls, data

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Tbe Federal Government has announced the removal of its proposed five per cent excise duty on telecommunication services.

The government announced that this was in line with the recommendations of a committee, the Presidential Review Committee on Excise Duty in the Digital Economy Sector, which was constituted to review the implementation of excise duty in the telecom sector.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, disclosed this on Tuesday at a press briefing.

Pantami, who is the chairman of the committee, said, “I am happy to report to you that President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has approved the exemption of the digital economy sector from the five per cent excise duty to be paid and this is because of the strength of the argument presented to him by the Committee that additional burden on telecom sector will increase the sufferings of Nigerians and that other sectors that are not making as much contribution to the economy should be challenged to do more and pay the five per cent excise duty.”

According to him, if the tax had been upheld, many businesses will have felt its impact. He said, “Many MSMEs and SMEs depend on the sector for survival; if the tax is increased, the impact will take a toll on these businesses.

Pantami stated that the telecoms sector was already paying 41 categories of taxes, levies, and charges.  He added, “There is no need for excise duty in the telecom sector because the industry is already heavily taxed up to 41 taxes. The sector has been contributing hugely to Nigeria’s economy; more tax burden destroys the industry.

“We increased revenue generated by 594 per cent from N51 billion quarterly to N481 billion quarterly. This is the only sector where the prices of services have been reduced. here is no justification for the government to impose more burden on its poor citizens.”

He noted that the tax exemption will be upheld by the incoming administration.

In July 2022, the Federal Government announced plans to implement a five per cent excise duty tax on telecom services in a bid to increase its revenue sources.

The Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, through the assistant Chief Officer of the Ministry, Mr Frank Oshanipin, had announced.

Source: The Punch

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