According to reports, the federal government will move forward with the introduction of a 5% excise tax on mobile phone services, landlines and Internet services. This is despite recent statements by Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Isa Pantami that the government has exempted the telecommunications sector from excise duties.
Last September, the federal government suspended plans for a sales tax on telecommunications services for the first time. The suspension was announced by Pantami during the opening ceremony of the Presidential Commission on Excise Taxes in the Digital Economy Sector.
The information, technology and telecommunications sectors, especially the telecommunications industry, are already overburdened by excessively heavy taxes, which could adversely affect the sector, the minister said, unless the government takes precautionary measures. Mr Pantami said the ICT sector is the backbone of the Nigerian economy, both in terms of its contribution to gross domestic product and the tax imposed by the Federal Internal Revenue Service.