Economy Telecoms

FG Exempts Digital Economy Sector From 5% Excise Duty

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved exemption of Digital Economy sector from five per cent excise duty payment to lessen the suffering of Nigerians.

The Federal Government had, on September 5, 2022, suspended the duty on telecommunications services, following intervention of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, who has always argued that the sector was overburdened by multiple taxation.

Consequently, government raised a committee to look into the matter and revert to the President.

Unveiling outcome of the Presidential Review Committee on Excise Duty in the Digital Economy Sector, yesterday, in Abuja, the minister recalled that the duty was imposed without due consultation with the ministry and relevant stakeholders, hence his appeal for its suspension.

Pantami explained that even in the Finance Act of 2021, there was no mention of the duty, stressing it was a subsidiary legislation not captured in the law.

He said within the telecommunications subsector alone, there are 41 categories of taxes and charges.

Pantami said he stopped telecoms operators from reviewing charges upward due to his understanding that the move would further impoverish Nigerians.

He clarified that the negative impact of the excise duty on the sector would be felt by others that leverage telecommunication services, who will eventually transfer the burden to the citizenry.

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