NCC Backs Telecom Industry’s Excise Duty Exemption

Discover why the NCC staunchly advocates for telecom excise duty exemption in Nigeria, paving the way for industry growth and nationwide connectivity.

In a rapidly evolving world where connectivity is more of a necessity than a luxury, the stance of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) rings true more than ever.

At a pivotal forum organized by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), they emphatically argued the case for completely exempting the telecom sector from all excise duties.

Why is this exemption so crucial, and how does it drive rapid industry growth? Let’s explore the details of this discussion.

The NCC’s Strong Stance

Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, initiated a pertinent conversation at the Telecom Executives and Regulators Forum (TERF), emphasizing that telecom services are far from being luxury commodities.

Prof. Danbatta ardently advocates for the total exemption of the sector from any form of excise duty, a sentiment echoed by many industry stakeholders.

Engaging Dialogues with the Ministry

A proactive approach has been undertaken by the NCC, as they actively engage with the Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy.

The objective? To spotlight the prevailing tax issues in the industry and underline why telecom services shouldn’t be associated with excise duties.

It’s about fostering growth, not just maintaining the status quo.

to 46 in the recent quarter. The growing tax burden clearly indicates undue levies on the industry.

Regulatory Initiatives and Hurdles

At the core of regulatory efforts lies the commitment to address industry concerns, and to this effect, several steps have been taken.

The government’s attempt to introduce a 5% excise duty met with substantial resistance, given the already extensive list of levies and charges placed on telecom companies.

Presidential Involvement
The discussion on excise duties for telecom services has been marked by fluctuations.

Despite previous approvals exempting the sector from these duties, a sudden resurgence in the Finance Act stirred shock and disagreement.

It’s been a rollercoaster, with different presidencies having varied approaches, yet the core argument remains – telecom services are not a luxury and should be treated as such.

A Nationwide Impact

Telecoms are vital for over 220 million Nigerians. A 5% excise duty could have impacted millions, with potential ripple effects.

The industry still rallies for complete exemption.

Telecom Prospects and Investments

As ATCON President, Mr. Tony Emoekpere noted, addressing these challenges head-on can not only attract more investments but can propel the growth trajectory of the industry.

Currently contributing over 16% to the national GDP, the sector holds untapped potential that could be realized with a more supportive fiscal environment.

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Why is the NCC advocating for the exemption of telecom services from excise duties?

The NCC argues that telecom services are not a luxury but a necessity, and imposing excise duties could stifle growth and accessibility for millions of Nigerians.

What steps have been taken by the regulatory authorities in this regard?

The NCC has been actively engaging with the Minister of Communications to highlight the prevalent tax issues and to advocate for the exemption of the sector from excise duties.

How many taxes are currently imposed on telecom operators?

As of the last report, telecom operators were subjected to 46 different taxes, a significant increase from the previous year.

What has been the role of the presidency in this issue?

Different presidencies have had varied approaches, with some approving the exemption and others reviving the duty in different financial acts.

What potential does the telecom industry hold for Nigeria’s economy?

The telecom industry is a rapidly growing sector, currently contributing over 16% to the national GDP. With the right policies, it holds the potential for further growth and investment attraction.

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