By Ogaga Ariemu
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Pantami, disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the exemption of the digital economy sector from 5 per cent excise duty.
Pantami made this known on Tuesday during a press briefing by the Presidential Review Committee on Excise Duty in Abuja.
Recall that on September 5 2022, the Minister suspended the imposition of a 5 per cent excise on the sector.
According to the Minister, “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”.
He added, “This is the only sector where the prices of services have been reduced”.
“There is no justification for the government to impose more burden on its poor Citizens.
“Many MSMEs and SMEs depend on the sector for survival; if the tax is increased, the impact will take a toll on these businesses.
“To this end, on March 6, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the exemption of the digital economy sector on the 5 per cent excise duty because it would harm the Nigeria citizens”.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta, in his remarks reiterated the commission’s commitment to improving the telecom industry.
He said the reduction of data cost had been the main target of the commission.
He said the average 1 gigabit of data has dropped to N335 from N350.
He called Nigerians to report mobile network operators charging exorbitant prices for data.