Telecoms workers fault CBN gov for urging call tax

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CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele

The Nigeria Union of Postal and Telecommunication Employees (NUPTE) on Tuesday faulted the Central Bank Governor,  Godwin Emefiele, for advising GSM service providers to tax calls above three minutes.

NUPTE President, Sunday Alhansan said that the tax would worsen the economic problems being experienced by Nigerians.

Emefiele had suggested that Federal Government should impose taxes on phone conversations that last more than three minutes, as a way of generating revenues.

The CBN governor said that the tax would cushion the effects of the economic recession and could raise additional revenue for the country.

Alhassan said the suggestion is “counterproductive.”

“The people you want to tax are also affected by the recession; and if you say that they are to be taxed, definitely you are asking people to stop making calls.

“And when they stop making calls, the GSM operators are going to be affected and once they are affected, there will be drop of some of their lines.

“What is going to happen is that they are going to sack their workers.

“So, that is why such a suggestion should not be brought up in the first place because it will cause more harm than good to the people,’’ he said.

Alhassan called on the Federal Government not to listen to any neo-liberal advice that would expose Nigerians to further hardships.

He called on the government to fashion out innovative ideas of creating sustainable employment that would bring succor to the people and not by taxing citizens the more.

“What we are telling the government is that it should look for succor for the people, the common man is not finding it funny.

“Our advice is to stop this idea of imposing tax on calls above three minutes, as it is not going to do anybody any good,” Alhassan said.

He advised government to look at ways of utilising looted funds that was returned to its coffers for economic development.