A group under the aegis of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria has protested the recent decision by the Nigerian Government to add one kobo per second tax on phone calls, describing it as a bad move.
According to the group, the move is insensitive considering the operating environment of telecom companies.
The umbrella body for telecom companies said, “For us as at ALTON, it is bad fate on the part of the government, and it is badly intended. This is because when we came out that the government should look at our cost of operations and give us room to review tariffs, everybody treated us like an outcast.
“The same government is now coming in a matter of days to say they are introducing new taxes. So, when they were saying to us that we cannot increase tariff because it is insensitive to the plight of the people and now, they brought another tax through the back door, we think it is bad fate and badly intended. So, if we cannot review based on the impact it will have on subscribers, why are they bringing in another tax, still on subscribers. Government cannot act in one way and say another thing.”
The New Phone Call Tax
Federal government has come up with a new tax on phone calls to actualise the provision of healthcare to vulnerable Nigerians who cannot afford the cost of medical care.
According to President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Health Insurance Authority Bill 2022 will ensure coverage of 83 million poor Nigerians who cannot afford to pay premiums.
The new law creates a vulnerable group fund that will be financed through a new telecommunications tax charged on phone calls at not less than one kobo per second of GSM calls.
In a survey by NOI, about eight out of 10 Nigerians do not have health insurance cover, Polls, and most Nigerians pay cash when they have to visit a hospital for treatment.