Charges On Data, Calls To Increase As FG Vows To Implement Five Percent Tariff Hike

The Federal Government has vowed to go ahead with the planned implementation of a five percent hike in call and data tariff.

A statement from the Federal Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning maintained the tariff hike will go on despite resistance from Minister of Communication and Digital Economy Prof. Isa Ali Pantami.

The statement insisted the government will begin “the implementation of five percent excise duty tax on all voice calls, SMS and data services, in addition to the existing 7.5 percent Value Added Tax (VAT), paid for goods and services across all sectors of the economy”.

Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning Mrs Zainab Ahmed made the disclosure at a stakeholders’ meeting organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecoms industry regulator.

Ahmed, who was represented by the Assistant Director, Tax Policy, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Musa Umar, said: “Henceforth, the five percent excise duty will be collected by telecom operators and payment made to the federal government on a monthly basis, on or before 21st of every month.”

Reacting to Patanmi’s resolve to resist the tariff hike, Ahmed noted: “The five percent excise duty has been in the Finance Act 2020, but has never been implemented.

“A circular stating the planned hike was addressed to the Communications and Digital Economy Minister and other relevant ministries and agencies of government.”

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