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Why FG suspended proposed telcom tax – Minister

THE Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, said the Federal government suspended the proposed five per cent excise duty in the digital economy sector because it could upset the recorded progress in the sector.

The proposal to introduce more tax into the information and communication technology (ICT) industry had come from the Federal Ministry of Finance as a way of shoring up government’s revenue.

But, Pantami, giving the explanation today in Abuja at the inauguration of a presidential committee set up to review the proposal, said he personally rejected the policy and advised President Muhammadu Buhari against it in view of the negative effects it would have on the digital economy.

According to him, the introduction of excise duty in the information and communication technology industry would jeopardise the successes already recorded within the industry.

To the minister, the ICT sector was already overburdened with multiple taxations both at the federal and state levels.

He disclosed that ICT companies were paying more than 41 taxes and it would be unfair to subject them to payment of excise duty.

Notably, the contributions of ICT to the economy pushed the overall contributions of the non-oil sector to grow by 4.77 per cent in real terms, resulting in a 93.67 per cent contribution to the nation’s gross domestic product in the second quarter of 2022.

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Pantami is the chairman of the review committee, while the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, is 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 some representatives of the telecommunication industries.

 


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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.

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