The Communications Boom of the last decade has changed how we communicate. It has also required governments to catch up with laws to regulate it and get more revenue from them while at it.
In Nigeria, the Senate has proposed a new 9% tax that will be levied on ‘communication services.’ This new tax shall be levied on such services like voice calls, MMS, SMS, data and pay per view TV as well.
The Bill partly reads:
“The tax shall be levied on Electronic Communications Services supplied by the Service Providers. For the purpose of this clause, the supply of any form of recharges shall be considered as a charge for usage of Electronic Communication Service. The tax shall be paid together with the Electronic Communication Service charged payable to the service provider by the consumer of the service.”
Senator Ali Ndume introduced the Bill to establish the Communication Service Tax at yesterday’s plenary session. He said that this tax is a way of distributing wealth in such a way that it would not affect the ordinary people.
The bill has several stages before becoming law where it will go for a second reading before being referred to the appropriate committee for further legislative action.
This tax implies that if you buy airtime, you will only have access to 91% of the value.
As of June 2019, Nigeria has over 174 million active lines. The telecoms industry supports 11.39% of the GDP as per Q2 2019 of a country with a nominal GDP of over $397 billion.