President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the exemption of the telecommunications sector from the proposed 5 percent excise duty.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, disclosed this at a media briefing organised by the Presidential Review Committee on Excise Duty on Tuesday in Abuja.
The president approved the collection of a 5 percent excise duty on mobile phone recharge cards and vouchers in May last year.
The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, shocked Nigerians in July last year when she announced that the federal government would begin the implementation of the 5 percent inclusive excise duty on telecommunications services in the country.
But Pantami countered the claim, saying the ministry has not been informed of the plan.
He later announced in September that the plan has been suspended by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
The minister, who spoke on the matter on Tuesday, said President Buhari had on March 6 approved the exemption of the digital economy sector from the 5 percent excise duty because of its effects on Nigerians.
“There is no justification for additional excise duty in the telecom sector because the industry is already heavily taxed up to 41 taxes.
“The sector has been contributing hugely to Nigeria’s economy; more tax burden destroys the industry.
“We increased revenue generated by 594 percent from N51 billion quarterly to N481 billion quarterly.
“This is the only sector where the prices of services have been reduced. There is no justification for the government to impose more burden on its poor citizens,” Pantami stated.
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