The Federal Government is proposing to introduce a bill, the Communication Service Tax CST bill, which seeks to levy 9 per cent on telecommunication subscribers for users of various services such as voice call, SMS, MMS, data usage from telecommunication service providers, Pay TV stations and internet service providers.
The Minister of Communication, Bayo Shittu, made this disclosure on Wednesday while speaking at a function organized by the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry, LCCI.
He said the outcome of deliberations on the bill would form the basis of his advice to the President, although, he noted that the introduction of the new taxes without harmonizing existing ones would put pressure on the country’s tax system thereby making it unattractive to investors.
Shittu said, “The bill is considered as a way to help increase the revenue generation of the Federal Government.
“This may also be counter-productive in the long run for our targets on broadband penetration. Our ICT Roadmap gives fresh impetus for implementing existing policies and reviewing any that is inimical to the growth of the sector.
“My focus on any tax regime will be to align any process that will stimulate the economy and also ensure that the tax system is efficient by widening the tax net.
“It is also to create an effective framework for tax compliance to protect the poor and vulnerable in the society who nonetheless has to use telecoms services for social inclusion and financial services.
“I have been reliably informed that the projected earnings from this effort is over N20 billion every month, which is an attraction to the government for funding our budget deficits.
“I must be quick to say that this government has a human face twined around its decisions,” the Minister added.