The Federal Government has suspended its planned excise duty tax on telecommunications and ICT based equipment and services originally stipulated for March next year.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami stated this while inaugurating a six man Presidential Committee on the Review Excise duty Tax on the Digital Economy sector.
Professor Pantami said the Digital Economy sector which has been the highest contributor to the nation’s GDP at 18.44 percent in 2021 alone cannot afford to loose its viability due to excessive taxation.
Professor Pantami said the sector which included Mobile Network Service operators and other high value stakeholders had to service at least 41 categories of taxes from the various levels of government and was fast drowning in the sea of multiple taxes and levies.
The Minister who described broadband and telecom services as necessities and not luxuries required to be supported to make life easier for Nigerians.
The Minister told the committee that the Federal Government has passed a National Start-Up Bill to the National Assembly for necessary legislation to further develop the ICT sector.
The Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigeria Communications Commission, Professor GarbA Danbatta said the committee is poised to carry out its task for the benefit of all Nigerians and stakeholders in the sector.
The Committee Comprises the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy as the Chairman, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the Chief Executive of the Nigeria Communications Commission, NCC, the Federal Inland Revenue Services, FIRS and Representative of the Mobile Network Operators in the country.
The Planned imposition of the excise duty tax on the Digital services sector had elicited widespread reaction from telecomm consumers on the toll of the taxes on the cost of telephone services and data.