Pantami Vows To Fight Against New Call And Data Tax

Pantami Vows To Fight Against New Call And Data Tax

Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy has revealed that he’s on the other side of the table as it relates to the recently-announced five percent excise duty on calls, data, and other telecom services, pledging to fight against its implementation at all costs.

Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance and National Planning, on Thursday, July 28, 2022, disclosed that the Federal Government (FG) would impose the levy on Nigerians, citing the desperate need to supplement the declining oil and gas revenue.

“The issue of revenue is not something that needs to be shied away from, our revenue can no longer take care of our needs as a country. Also, Nigeria is no longer making enough money in oil revenue hence the attention is shifting to non-oil revenue,” Ahmed said as she urged stakeholders to support the implementation of the new excise duty.

Displeased with this development, Pantami said the ministry under his watch is not satisfied with the mounting pressure on Nigerians, adding that stakeholders, including himself, were not consulted before the announcement.

Pantami, while citing multiple taxations as the basis of his argument which frowned against the five percent excise duty, enjoined the leadership of the country to disallow every attempt to impose more hardship on members of the public.

His words: The ministry of communications and digital economy is not satisfied with any effort to introduce excise duty on telecommunication services.

“Firstly, I have not been consulted officially and part of the rulemaking is to invite stakeholders to make contributions, I was not consulted officially. Secondly, if we have been contacted, we would have challenged the submission.

“The sectors that are contributing to our economy today are few. What we should be doing is to ensure that all other sectors can also contribute. A lot of sectors are consumers, these are the sectors that we should be tasked to contribute.

“A sector cannot be a consumer today; each sector must contribute a certain percentage to the economy. And if we fail to do that, we would be increasing the pressure and by doing that we would be destroying the digital economy sector.

“Excise duty is introduced to discourage the consumption of certain commodities like alcohol, and tobacco. But today, without broadband penetration, how can you perform financial transactions, how can you deliver lectures without that, how can you work in a hospital, these services are a necessity.”

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