The federal government has finalised plans to levy a five per cent Excise Duty on all telecommunications services, including calls, SMS, and data services, a move obdervers say would further compound Nigerians’ economic woes.
Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed shared the worrying news at a stakeholders’ forum organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC in Abuja on Thursday. Ms Ahmed said the decision was motivated by the federal government’s desperation to augment declining income from oil and gas.
“The issue of revenue is not something that need to be shy away from, our revenue can no longer take care of our needs as a country,” Ms Ahmed asserted. “Also Nigeria is no longer making enough money in oil revenue hence the attention is shifting to non-oil revenue.”
Ms Ahmed, represented by Musa Umar, Assistant Director, Tax and Policy, urged stakeholders to support the implementation of the five per cent exercise duty on telecommunications services.
The minister defended the recently enacted tax by claiming that several African nations, including Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, and others, have successfully tapped into this method of generating revenue.
She did however assure Nigerians, that the government is committed to implementing the regulation in a seamless manner that will not negatively impact Nigerians.
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