Proposed Five 5% Tax On Phone Calls, Data Suspended By Government

The proposed introduction of a five per cent excise duty in the digital economy sector, an additional tax, which was proposed by the Minister of Finance has been suspended by the federal government of Nigeria.

Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr Isa Pantami stated this in Abuja during the inauguration of a committee that will review the policy. Pantami said he personally rejected the policy and advised President Muhammadu Buhari against it in view of the effects it would have on the digital economy.

According to him, the introduction of excise duty in the telecommunication and information and communications technology industry would jeopardise the successes already recorded within the industry. Pantami also noted that currently the ICT sector is over-burdened with multiple taxations both at the federal and state levels.

He further disclosed that there are more than 41 taxes that telecommunication and ICT companies are paying and that it would be unfair to subject them to payment of excise duty. Meanwhile, a presidential committee on the review of the excise duty in digital economy has been inaugurated by the federal government.

The committee has the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isah Pantami as chairman and the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed as a member. Others include the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Danbatta, the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Muhammad Nami and representatives of the telecommunication industries.

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