By Dipo Olowookere
The National Communications Commission, NCC, the telecommunications services sector regulator in Nigeria, has said it would do everything possible to ensure that the proposed nine percent communication tax does not adversely affect the sector.
This assurance was given by the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Professor Umar Danbata, on the sidelines of the Digital Economy Conference held in Kano State.
Prof Danbata further assured that the successes recorded so far in the telecoms sector will not be affected when the new policy is finally implemented.
“We intend to engage the Federal government to ensure that the introduction of the communications tax does not adversely affect mobile penetration which stands at more than 1OO percent”.
“Everything will be done to ensure that this new tax does not hamper the success that have been recorded and that would be recorded in the telecoms sector,” he said.
The new tariff bill seeks to introduce a nine per cent tax on communication services, including voice, data, and broadband as well as pay TV services.
The NCC boss said the regulatory agency is currently receiving submission from stakeholders on the bill which is has passed through first and second reading at the National Assembly in order to come out with a harmonised position.
“We are currently receiving submission from concerned professionals and stakeholders in the industry and very soon the NCC will come out with a harmonised position on the matter,” stated the NCC Chairman.
Industry operators and consumers are of the opinion that 5 percent Value Added Tax is already being paid in the sector as such additional 9 percent will make tariff increase to fourteen percent, which is considered a great burden.
The new tax regime proposed by the Nigeria government comes as the NCC targets 30 percent broadband penetration in 2O18.