Hassan Tumi, Abuja
This would have grievous implications on subscribers and the telecom sector. It is absurd.
One thing that the government has failed to understand is that over 90 per cent of Nigerians are vulnerable, except the politicians and their aides that make up the remaining 10 per cent. So if 90 per cent is vulnerable, why will government task the same people to raise money to take care of them? What informed the government’s decision to depend on taxes from telecom to fund the insurance scheme for the vulnerable? Telecoms services are the only services that the masses are enjoying at the moment and the government wants to use taxes and levies to stifle it. Subscribers are struggling to buy fuel to power their generators that will serve their business and they also buy fuel for their cars, and the cost of fuel has skyrocketed, yet the government wants to increase the burden by an additional five per cent tax on calls, sms, and data. That will be killing subscribers if you ask me and we are going to resist it at all costs. I want to urge the government not to implement this.
I am in support of it because Nigeria is a state where revenues have to be gotten from all angle in order to allow the country move to a state of independence. I don’t know why Nigerians run away from anything tax. We can’t do without paying tax. How do we expect infrastructures and so on to be in place. If we all want our country to grow like other countries, then we need to help ourselves. The government I believe know what they are doing.
The new tax burden would be passed to subscribers if implemented. It is a strange move. It appears a bit unusual. Excise duty is supposed to be apportioned to goods and products. But we are surprised this is on services. Is there anything Nigerian citizens won’t be taxed on? From birth to death, there is nothing you enjoy as a Nigerian citizens, nothing. No effective healthcare, security, nothing whatsoever but the government continue to apply tax on everything, thereby affecting the citizens.
Abraham Ned, Abuja
The proposed exercise duty does not comply with the principle of taxation, fairness, certainty, convenience and efficiency. The federal government has continued to turn blind eye on the issue of foreign exchange and other challenges facing telecom operators in Nigeria. All the industries are currently bleeding yet the federal government wants to worsen the plight of operators with additional taxation. I want to appeal to the government to step down implementation of the proposal on the ground that many youths in Nigeria will lose their jobs. I want to advice that the government should channel it efforts to developing other sectors.
Abel Adeleke, Lagos
This action by the government is insensitive and ill-timed. The policy is adding salt to injury with the situation of the country and bleeding economy. The people with disability will be worst hit if the policy is allowed to see the light of the day and called for concession if the government insists on implementing the duty collection policy. This policy should not be implemented now.
This is all in addition to the very poor services provided to Nigerians by all these network providers. So, before such a major step is taken even the Minister for Communication was not consulted. What type of government is running the country for God sake? Who runs a government in this manner where every ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) is a silo/empire of its own? The President does not see the need to talk to those who voted him into office, MDAs do not talk to each other and everything is getting worse in the country day by day, we should just outsource the leadership of our country for things to be properly put in place.
I want to urge the Federal Government to desist from increasing and introducing new taxes on Nigerians, particularly the proposed five per cent inclusive excise duty on telecommunications services, raising the tax to 12.5 percent. The heavy depletion of the Excess Crude Account (ECA), which ought to serve as a cushion to help stabilise the country’s economy.There is need for the Federal Government to activate steps to address the current economic challenges, alarming unemployment, plummeting exchange rate and financial hardship on the citizens. The economy is at its lowest ebb as the purchasing power of Nigerians has dwindled in the face of galloping inflation. Basic domestic commodities, power, energy and transportation are out of reach for the average Nigerian. National unemployment rate according to the National Bureau of Statistics stands at 33.3 percent, while unemployment of the youths is 42.5 percent. This is saddening.
Michael Iyin, Abeokuta
With all the sufferings the average Nigerian are going through, why imposing another tax on them? This Finance Minister does not want to mention the non-implementation of the 5% tax in the Finance Act 2020. Yes, the law is there but its implementation could be suspended or deferred by the executive, if the latter finds that it would deal heavy financial blow, social deprivation and much inconvenience on the public. With the increasing spate of unemployment, unbridled inflation and a growing shortage of every essential in the country, would these situations not be enough for the executive to defer or postpone the implementation of this 5% tax? Some people in the executive are just unfeeling and callous in every ramification.
This discordant tunes is not only needless but also brings much confusion to the system. And instead of 5% why not just 1 or 2%? That Is still a lot of money though. What I find most annoying and saddening is that after these taxes, some rogue civil servants and their political overlords would still be allowed to steal as much as possible. It is almost surreal that with all the checks and balances and never ending chime of fighting corruption, people are still able to steal in billions!
Habibat Lawal, Ilorin
Nigerians are crying of hardship and the only thing which makes people happy which is phone calls and social media (data); the government still want to add money on it. The rate at which the networks bill for calls, data and sms is alarming and not to talk of adding excise duty to it. It is the masses that are going to be affected the most. The government should not bring this up at a time such as this rather what they should be talking about is to get Nigeria out of the problem she is now and the earlier the better for us all.
This should not be implemented at all. Inflation is high and a lot is going on in the country. Nigerians are practically paying twice for everything; and in some cases thrice what we pay two years ago. This is unfair and demeaning to all Nigerians. So many things are not working fine like, people’s lives are nothing to write home about, insecurity, bad roads, all goods are expensive and so on. The government is not looking for solution on that and this administration is all after making revenue at the expense of making lives unbearable for people.
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