CEM REPORT | Telecoms Operators in the country have kicked against the recent tax slammed by the Federal Government.
The telecos under the aegis of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) said the decision is badly intended as the government as refused the operators o review its tariff.
“For us as at ALTON, it is bad fate on the part of government and I think it is badly intended. This is because when we came out that the government should look at our cost of operations and give us a room to review tariffs, everybody treated us like outcast.
“The same government is now coming in a matter of days to say they are introducing new taxes. So, if we cannot review based on the impact it will have on subscribers, why are they bringing in another tax, still on subscribers. Government cannot act in one way and say another thing.”
The Association’s Chairman, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, said funding for the free healthcare for the Vulnerable Group in Nigeria could be source from other means and not a service that is so live-impacting like telecommunications.
“The reason for it is understandable, but we think it can be sourced from other sources, not telecoms subscribers, whom the government itself has said are suffering because of the high cost of living lately. We will not complain as operators because we will definitely remit, it is the subscribers that will bear the brunt. I say again that for us to have a sustainable industry, we must price right. Government cannot escape from this responsibility for a long time,”
He explained that telecom subscribers will bear the brunt of the new tax as they will now get less value for what they pay for.
He added that the operators will have no choice but to start deducting the tax from the subscribers’ recharge once mandated by the government.
Recall hat CEM reported that National Health Insurance Authority Bill 2021 signed by the President, Muhammadu Buhari, imposed a telecom tax in the equivalent of of one kobo per second for phone calls.
According to the new law, this will be part of the sources of funds required to finance free healthcare for the Vulnerable Group in Nigeria.