Nigerian Internet subscribers to pay more for data as FG raises telecom tax

The Nigerian Telecom subscribers and most especially, internet users may be facing their own share of the economic distress as data prices will soon be skyrocketing owing to the recent decision by the Nigerian government to raise taxes in the Telecom industry.

Nigerian Internet subscribers to pay more for data as FG raises telecom tax

According to a recent disclosure made by the country’s Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, taxes on telecommunication services are set to witness a 12.5% increase.

This is due to the FG's plan to implement a 5% inclusive excise duty on telecommunications services in Nigeria even with the 7.5% Value Added Tax (VAT) that Nigerians already pay for goods and services.

The Minister made this known during the stakeholders’ forum on the implementation of excise duty on telecommunications services in Nigeria held on Thursday in Abuja.

This new policy, however, will be transferred to the consumers and not the Telecom operators as the Nigerian users would be paying for the extra charges.

This means subscribers will be made to pay five percent of the total cost whenever they make a voice call. This amount will then be deducted from the caller's account by the operators which will then be remitted to the FG.

Speaking further, the assistant Chief Officer in the ministry, Frank Oshanipin, who presented the ministry’s document explained that the fresh charges were a result of the country's decision to source funds away from oil revenue as the current revenue stream was not enough to fund Nigeria's financial obligations.

While this is a plus to the FG, it is, however, a big hit on internet users and other Telecom subscribers who depend on data for daily bread.

Over time, the number of Nigerians who rely on data for their day-to-day activities has steadily been on the increase.

From remote workers to the average Nigerian who wishes to communicate with his friends and family, data has played a huge role in linking both ends together.

It is important to note that a huge chunk of data users have opted to use data calls instead, owing to its very cheap amount.

A 2021 report by the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI)’s 2021 Affordability Drivers Index (ADI) in an Internet affordability survey however, ranks Nigeria 19th out of 72 countries globally and fourth in Africa.

With the fresh Telecom tax increment by the FG, it is not known how the new price of data and calls would affect the average users but one thing is certain, the Telecom tax is here to stay and internet users in Nigeria should brace up for impact

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