The federal government says it will start implementing a five percent inclusive excise duty on telecommunications services in Nigeria.
The development is coming months after President Muhammadu Buhari approved excise duty on telephone recharge cards and vouchers.
Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, disclosed this on Thursday at a stakeholders’ forum in Abuja.
The event was organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
Ahmed, represented by Frank Oshanipin, assistant chief officer of the ministry, said the duty had been in the 2020 Finance Act but delayed to allow room for stakeholders’ engagement.
“Payments are to be made monthly, on or before the 21st of every month,” she said.
FG Moves To Implement 5% Excise Duty On Telecom Services
“The duty rate was not captured in the Act because it is the responsibility of the president to fix the rate on excise duties, and he has fixed five percent 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 the government lies with us all.”
On his part, Gbenga Adebayo, chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), said the burden would be on telecommunications consumers.
“It means that subscribers will now pay 12.5 percent tax on telecom services, we will not be able to subsidise the five per cent excise duty on telecom services,” he said.
“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.
Also, Ikechukwu Nnamani, president, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), said the five percent excise duty on telecom services did not conform with present realities.
Nnamani, represented by Ajibola Alude, executive secretary, ATCON, said the duty could lead to job losses.
“It is not well intended because the industry is not doing well currently,” he said.