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Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, revealed this on Tuesday, in Abuja, while updating journalists on the suspended introduction of 5% Excise Duty in the telecommunications sector by the Presidential Review Committee on Excise Duty in Abuja.
He explained that the President on March 6, 2023, approved the exemption of the digital economy sector on the five per cent excise duty, stressing that the President took the action in order not to suffer the poor masses.
Recall that on September 5, 2022, the Minister suspended the imposition of a five per cent excise on the sector.
According to him, “41 categories of taxes, levies and charges are already in the digital economy sector; hence there is no justification for an additional excise
“There is no need for 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 per cent from N51 billion quarterly to N481 billion quarterly
“There is no justification for the government to impose more burdens on its poor citizens.
“This is the only sector where the prices of services have been reduced.” He said.
Pantami disclosed that majority of the MSMEs and SMEs, largely depend on the Communication and Digital Economy sector for survival adding that if the tax were increased, the impact would be too much on such micro businesses.
Earlier In his remarks, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Umar Danbatta, maintained that the commission is committed in improving the telecom industry, disclosing that the reduction of data had been the main target of the commission.
Danbatta stated that the average one gigabit of data has dropped to from N350 to N335, and charged Nigerians to report mobile network operators charging exorbitant prices for data.