No fewer than 25 million out of the estimated 150 million telecommunications consumers in Nigeria will lose access to telephone use, if the Communications Service Tax bill, currently before the Senate eventually becomes law, according to the Associations of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON).
Part of the tax bill is stipulating 9 per cent tax on each service rendered by the various GSM and data services operators.
The Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), by the terms of the new law, will create special data bank to harness the resources to be generated through the tax.
On their part, the operators are to link up each consumer of their services to FIRS using his or her personal information captured through the sim cards.
But reacting on behalf of their customers ATCON President, Mr. Olusola Teniola, said the association was mobilising the public towards resisting the move to increase the cost of telecoms services in Nigeria.
According to him, “Even if there would be any tax on the services, it should not be more than 0.2 per cent, in view of the burden that an average consumer will have to bear after the law has taken effect.”
“We are not against tax in the country, but effort should be made to avoid double taxation . We will be happy to support the government to make the best of our tax efforts, which certainly are key components of strengthening the economy and sustaining our industry,” Teniola said.
He added, “We ask for a reconsideration of the CST Bill; we recommend, as an alternative, a tax reform that increases the current Value Added Tax by a new one per cent added for the purpose of development of communications. Another alternative is that the tax being proposed in the bill should be limited to 0.2 per cent.”
In his comment, the coordinator of Telecoms Consumers Association Nigeria (TeCAN), Mr. Mike Odukoya said imposition of tax on telecoms users at the present period of harsh economic measures will disconnect more than 40 per cent of phone and data users.
He said even countries that have been enjoying better services than Nigeria were yet to impose any service charge tax, so it will be resisted.
By Emma Eke….
Join the conversation
Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism
Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.
As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.
If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.
Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.
INVESTIGATION: UBEC mum as N80m Kebbi secondary school lab equipment still undelivered since 2020
“Our laboratories are not conducive for learning; the termites have destroyed most of these laboratories, and there is not enough...
In Niger, communities suffer as multi-billion naira Auna Dam project remains uncompleted despite 38 years of investments
In Niger State, the over 20 communities around Auna River have had their hopes for fresh water, electricity supply and...
INVESTIGATION: Years after, 15km Eleme-Onne end of East-West Road remains death-trap despite billions released
In this report, ARINZE CHIJIOKE chronicles the sufferings of road users on the 15km Eleme-Onne end of the East-West Road...
Gaza attacks intensify as 12 Thais, 10 Nepalese killed in Israel
The current violence in Israel has claimed the lives of at least 12 Thai people and 10 Nepalese individuals. Eight...
INVESTIGATION: Poorly executed classroom projects force children out of school in Niger State
Once a vibrant hub of learning for pupils, Kodo Primary School now resonates a stark contrast to its former days...