The  Minister of Communications and Digital Economy , Isa  Ali Pantami, has revealed  the roles he played in the suspension  of the proposed five percent  tax on calls and data.



At the inaugural  meeting  of the Presidential  Committee on Excise Duty  for the Digital Economy Sector, in Abuja on Monday, announced the suspension of  the proposed  excise duty.



The Minister said that the President  decided to suspend the  taxation  after a petition   he wrote  explaining  that the decision will  put more hardship on citizens and have  a negative impact  on the economy.




‘’Recently , it was announced  that  government officials  have kickstarted the process of introducing  excise duty in the telecommunication sector.



Base on   the constitution of  Nigeria, and being  the representative of President  Buhari in  the Sector, I rejected  that  wholeheartedly on the 2nd August ,2022.  I explained  to President  Buhari  in my letter that could serve  as a petition  that we are not  in support of.’’



Pantami argued  that excise duty is usually enforced on luxury  products   such as alcohol, cigarettes or sugar, and it is done  to reduce  consumption  of certain products.


The Minister  said broadband  and telecommunication  services  have become  essential services  and no longer  a luxury  especially  as it supports learning, e-business operations, among others.



‘’By implication, if we  are introducing  that,  we are discouraging  the citizens of being part of  the  digital economy; making calls, online learning or other  business activities in e-commerce  and others.




I explained  to the President  that  the economic  situation  doesn’t  allow putting  more burden  on our citizens on a matter  that is becoming  more  of a necessity by the day,’’ Pantami said.


‘’Because of this, I told Mr. President that the attempt will destroy the sector  that is becoming   the backbone  of our economy.


Secondly, it will add  more hardship to citizens in Nigeria. It is because of this that Mr. President immediately approved my prayers’’. He said.





The Minister, while stressing that  the ICT  Sector  has become the backbone of the economy  noted that the Sector has grown  at an unprecedented  rate and is still growing ; but decried that the issue  of multiple and excessive  taxation may destroy  the sector  and erode  the gains made so far.




Pantami lamented that the level of  taxation  has become worrisome, and  that ‘’the sector  is overburdened  with so much  tax categories to the extent  that there are 41 categories being paid  from the ICT Sector alone , particularly  the telecommunication  sub-Sector’’.


Besides , there is multiple  taxation , the same tax being  collected  at the Federal level, some States  insists  that  it should be  remitted to their coffers.


If care is not taken, this  is going  to jeopardize the achievement  and  the gain we have  recorded  so far in the sector ,’’  Pantami  added.


Speaking  on the impact  of the Sector on the economy , Pantami informed  that the Sector exceeded targets set in the last three years in terms of  contribution  to the GDP.


In  the last quarter of 2020, Pantami  said ICT alone  contributed 14.07 percent  to the GDP, and by  the second quarter of 2021, the Sector contributed 17.9 percent , and  18.44 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022.

‘’By implication, this Sector  has been contributing  a lot to the economy  of Nigeria  particularly  at the time   that all  other sectors are coming  down   in spite  of  government’s investment in the area of subsidy.’’


But the digital  economy Sector , without  any significant subsidy, has been  recording  unprecedented achievement year –in-year out,’’ the Minister said.


Pantami further said, that the auctioning  of the 5G Spectrum generated $547million for Nigeria  in addition  to billions and billions that the Sector  have been remitting  through  Spectrum  licence, operating licence among others.


Pantami  also disclosed  that in 2021, MTN  alone contributed  approximately 13.5 percent  of the entire  tax collection by the Federal  Inland  Revenue  Service (FIRS),and was  the largest  contributor  after remitting  N757 billion  through direct  and indirect  tax to FIRS.


‘’By implication, ICT Sector  is today the backbone  of our economy  in Nigeria, the backbone  of our tax collection’’


However,  in spite  of the contribution  of this Sector, we  have been witnessing challenges  that if care  is not taken , could  be a barrier  to the development  of this Sector in the next   few years to come’’.























































































By TheInterviewsNigeria

Publisher/Editor -in Chief with more than a decade of working in the media production industry, Our preoccupation is Development News and rooting for innovation locally and internationally. We are British trained Business English PRO. We edit manuscripts for book publication, translation(English/Yoruba/French). We cross your 't's' and dot your 'i's. We are also into speech draftsmanship and photography; Business reports, and proposals, with minimal cost. Meeting the deadline is our watchword. We would cover your Social /Public events with precision. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Call-08144956897, 08057355037 E-mail-,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *