The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has announced that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the exemption of the digital economy sector from five percent excise duty.
Pantami disclosed this to journalists on Tuesday during the briefing by the Presidential Review Committee on Excise Duty in Abuja. On September 5, 2022, the Minister suspended the imposition of a five percent excise on the sector.
He said, “41 categories of taxes, levies, and charges are already in the digital economy sector; hence there is no justification for an additional excise.
“There is no need for excise duty in the telecom sector because the industry is already heavily taxed up to 41 taxes. “The sector has been contributing hugely to Nigeria’s economy; more tax burden destroys the industry.
“We increased revenue generated by 594 percent from N51 billion quarterly to N481 billion quarterly.” He added, “This is the only sector where the prices of services have been reduced. “There is no justification for the government to impose more burden on its poor citizens.”
Pantami further stated, “Many MSMEs and SMEs depend on the sector for survival; if the tax is increased, the impact will take a toll on these businesses.
“To this end, on March 6, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the exemption of the digital economy sector on the five percent excise duty because it would harm the Nigerian citizens.”
In his remarks, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Umar Danbatta, reiterated the commission’s commitment to improving the telecom industry.
He said the reduction of data had been the main target of the commission. He added that the average one gigabit of data has dropped to N335 from N350. He, however, called on Nigerians to report mobile network operators charging exorbitant prices for data.