Olusola Teniola, president, Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), on Friday charged the country’s finance ministry to harmonise taxes paid by telecoms companies while decrying the multiple taxations telcos face.
Telecommunication companies in Nigeria pay 38 different taxes annually which amounts to about N450 billion, Teniola said.
“Currently the industry pays 38 different taxes to the Nigerian government, and the fact remains that, of the 38 taxes, only 10 are applicable to the industry,” he revealed in an interview with Nigerian government controlled news agency.
Teniola also said that these taxes include corporation and pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) taxes, which were statutory, and some other levies like right of way, annual operating levy, custom duty and stamp duty, amounting to N450 billion, which he said the industry had been paying in the last five years to the country’s three tiers of government.
“Corporate taxes and PAYE represent N200 billion out of the N450 billion we pay annually. This extra N200 billion we are paying can be used to effectively roll out our networks and improve quality of services,” he said.
He, therefore, urged the ministry of finance to work towards harmonisation of the various taxes to stop overtaxing in the telecom industry and appealed to the governments to use the taxes to improve the lives of the citizens.
“We call for harmonisation of all taxes in our industry by the federal ministry of finance; if it is done, things will be better. If the taxes are harmonised, the federal government can distribute taxes paid at the federal level to the state and local government.
“That way, state and local governments will stop asking for money that is not even paid at the federal level. Likewise, local government should go to the state to request for its share of taxes paid by the industry,” he said.