For TikTok, Google, and other interactive computer service platforms and Internet intermediaries to run in Nigeria, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) stated that they must fulfil certain conditions.
These conditions, according to NITDA, are now contained in the recently released Code of Practice for Interactive Computer Service Platforms/Internet Intermediaries (online platforms).
“NITDA wishes to present to the public a Code of Practice for Interactive Computer Service Platforms/Internet Intermediaries for future review and input,” the agency stated in a statement in which this development was disclosed.
NITDA developed the Code of Practice alongside the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), with input from platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Google, and Tik Tok.
As part of the conditions listed in the code, the companies mentioned above must register with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) as a legal entity, comply with tax obligations, and abide by regulatory and legal demands.
The Code of Practice, which is aimed at safeguarding the fundamental human rights of Nigerians and non-Nigerians living in Nigeria, and regulating interactions on online platforms, also requires each online platform to have a country representative who will interface with the Nigerian authorities. With this, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Google, Tik Tok, and other interactive online platforms will have faces the government would be familiar with.
What you should know
However, this is not surprising as the federal government, in January 2022, introduced a 6% tax on digital services and non-resident companies.
According to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, who disclosed this new development, the new tax policy on digital services and non-resident companies includes apps, high-frequency trading, electronic data storage, and online advertising.
BizWatch Nigeria understands that the new policy is contained in Section 30 of the Finance Act 2021, which amended the provisions of Sections 10, 31 and 14 on VAT obligations for non-resident digital companies.