THE Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, has said the Federal Government is on course to implement a new tariff hike on data and calls.
The new tariff, according to Ahmed, would start with the implementation of a five per cent excise duty on all voice calls, SMS, and data services.
This is in addition to the existing 7.5 per cent value-added tax (VAT) paid on goods and services across all sectors of the economy, a statement issued on Thursday, August 11, 2022 by the minister’s Special Adviser, Media and Communications, Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi, said.
“The government made the disclosure on five per cent excise duty during a stakeholders’ meeting, organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecoms industry regulator.
“At that meeting, Zainab Ahmed, Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, who was represented by the Assistant Director, Tax Policy, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Musa Umar, noted: ‘The five per cent excise duty has been in the Finance Act 2020, but has never been implemented. Henceforth, the five per cent excise duty will be collected by telecom operators and payment made to the federal government on a monthly basis, on or before 21st of every month,’ ” the statement read
The Minister noted that a circular issued earlier addressed to the communication minister and other relevant ministries and agencies of government had informed them of the proposed hike.
The circular was referenced No. F. 17417/VI/286, dated March 1, 2022, and titled, ‘Approval for Implementation of the 2022 Fiscal Policy Measures and Tariff Amendments.’
Those the circular was addressed to included the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Attorney-General of the Federation; and ministers of Industry, Trade and Investment; Agriculture and Rural Development; Mines and Steel Development; Health; Aviation; Information And Culture; Budget; And National Planning.
Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.