Mobile operators and the Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu have differed on the impact the proposed nine per cent Communications Service Tax (CST) would have on speedy growth and development of telecommunications infrastructure nationwide.
The mobile operators under the aegis of Association of Licenced Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) alleged that the minister said in Osogbo, Osun State recently that the proposed tax would also help to improve telecommunication infrastructure deficiency apart from the fact that it would help government generate revenue for running the country.
Adebayo Shittu had recently disclosed at the Communication Services Tax Stakeholders’ Meeting organised by the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) in Lagos the proposed bill would generate about N20 billion monthly for the federal government.
In a statement issued by ALTON secretariat, the body faulting the minister said “the introduction and collection of the tax without the exclusion of the applicability of the Value Added Tax (VAT) will amount to double taxation as the proposed tax is an additional tax on communication services rendered to the same end users who already pay a five percent (five per cent) tax as VAT.”
Warning also that the administration of this tax regime as proposed will be cumbersome and impractical, it said “We must correct this general notion that service providers can absolve any tax without considering the capital and operational cost to the service providers.”
The nine per cent CST bill