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FG Surcharge Tax on Airtime Plan

FG Surcharge Tax on Airtime Plan 

Financial analysts on Tuesday expressed mixed views over the Federal Government’s plan to introduce excise duty on telecommunications airtime charges in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos.

Dr. McAnthony Dike, a tax consultant, told NAN that the plan was appropriate and would boost government revenue if properly implemented. He urged the political class to show leadership by reducing the cost of governance across the board in line with the current economic realities.

Mr. Boniface Okezie, President Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, said the timing of the tax idea was not good considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stating “ Nigerians have been paying one form of tax or the other, so introducing a new one will amount to multiple taxations. All these taxes will continue to weaken the purchasing power of our people”. He went on to suggest that the Federal Government should strengthen its diversification drive to boost revenue instead of initiating more taxes.

Recall that the Director-General of the Budget Office, Mr. Ben Akabueze, said recently at a World Bank event that the government was considering excise tax on telecoms airtime charges to boost revenue.

“Last year, we found that 51 countries in Africa have excise on airtime charges, so we are looking at that as well, as an area to tax,” Akabueze said.

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