FG Suspends Proposed 5% Excise Duty on Data, Voice Calls

September 5, 2022
excise duty on data

By Adedapo Adesanya

The federal government has suspended the introduction of a 5 per cent excise duty on data and voice calls in the country’s digital economy sector.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr Isa Pantami, disclosed this in Abuja during the inauguration of a committee that will review the policy.

Mr 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.

Mr Pantami also noted that currently, the ICT sector is over-burdened with multiple taxations both at the federal and state level.

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 the digital economy has been inaugurated by the federal government.

The committee has the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy as chairman and the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, as a member.

Other members are 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.

Last month, the Minister of Finance revealed that the federal government was going to implement a new per cent tariff hike on data and calls.

According to her, this will start with the implementation of a per cent excise duty tax on all voice calls, SMS, and data services.

This is “in addition to the existing 7.5 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT), paid for goods and services across all sectors of the economy.”

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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