By Uzair Adam Imam
The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, has announced the suspension of proposed excise duty on telecommunication services.
The minister stated this at inaugural meeting of the Presidential Committee on Excise Duty for the Digital Economy Sector.
Pantami, in a program Monday in Abuja, described the tax as overburden for the telecommunications sector.
He added that he personally rejected the policy and advised President Buhari to reject it for the effects it would have on digital economy.
Pantami, who kicked against the policy, said the National Assembly members were not even consulted.
He added, “The introduction of excise duty in the telecommunication and information and communications technology industry would jeopardise the successes already recorded within the industry.”
Pantami sabotages government efforts – Ahmed
The Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, had accused pantami of sabotaging government efforts.
She said, “Against the comments by Isa Ali Pantami, honourable minister of communication and digital economy, concerning the five percent excise duty hike on telecoms services, it is worth noting that there was a circular stating the planned hike which was addressed to the communication minister and other relevant ministries and agencies of government.
“The circular Referenced No. F. 17417/VI/286, dated 1st March 2022, and titled “Approval for Implementation of the 2022 Fiscal Policy Measures and Tariff Amendments” was addressed to different ministers, including the honourable minister, communications and digital economy and and other heads of government agencies.
“In view of the above position of Prof. Pantami, there could be the question of whether he was absent in the whole process that resulted in the Finance Act, which is a product of both the National Assembly and Federal Executive Council (FEC),” the statement reads in part.