Telecommunications companies have advised against the implementation of the 2022 Fiscal Policy Measures and Tariff Amendments, which demands five per cent as excise duty for services provided.
They described the tax as insensitive, unfair, and capable of crippling the industry in the way and manner the oil industry has been crippled by different challenges.
According to them, the industry is already saddled with over 39 different taxes and the present one being proposed for implementation would only send the telecoms sector into a coma.
The industry stakeholders were represented by the Association of Telecommunications Companies in Nigeria (ATCON), Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators in Nigeria (ALTON) and Nigeria Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOS) asked the government to suspend the implementation of the tax policy indefinitely.
But the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), said they are going ahead with the policy implementation as only President Muhammadu Buhari has the power to suspend the implementation based on the schedule of the Act.
The government and telecom industry representatives spoke at the Stakeholders Consultative Forum organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), at the Digital Economy Complex, Mbora, Abuja.
Speaking on behalf of ALTON, its President Gbenga Adebayo said the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) have taken a holistic look at the five per cent excise duty but had no choice but to pass the burden of payment to the subscribers.
He argued that the industry had been afflicted by exchange rate problems as well as high costs of diesel to power its infrastructures due to erratic power supply in the country.
Adebayo further stated that besides the Value Added Tax of 7.5 per cent in the industry, there are 38 other taxes and levies being collected by states, local government and other agencies of government.