Huge tax killing our business, Telcom operators cry out

The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators in Nigeria (ALTON) have expressed their frustration at the surge by which state government taxed them, blaming it for the quality of services rendered to Nigerians.

Speaking through its chairman, Gbenga Adebayo on Tuesday, ALTON indicated that multiple taxes have burdened members of the association.

He highlighted that the 2015 Amended Taxes and Levies Order is being applied arbitrarily, saying the regime of taxes imposed on members by state governments has been causing negative effects on their operations.

Adebayo pointed out item 3 (b) of the Amended Schedule to the Taxes and Levies (Approved List for Collection) Act introduced new levies and taxes under items 12 to 25.

“ALTON is concerned that the Amended Taxes & Levies Order, 2015 engendered the institution of multiplicity of taxes across different tiers of government,” he told journalist.

“The industry is also burdened with the enactment of laws at the state government level to legitimise spurious levies and charges on our members, which negates the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

“It is disturbing that the entire instrument has given the state governments authorisation to coerce and disrupt the operations of our members in order to compel the payment of sundry levies, charges and taxes.

“Rather than the amended order addressing the issue of multiple taxation, it, on the contrary, increased the tax burden of our members and adversely impacted the ease of doing business in Nigeria.”

Adebayo requested that Kemi Adeosun, the minister of finance, review the order and the federal government issue an executive order declaring telecom infrastructure as critical national security and economic infrastructure as prescribed in the 2015 Cybercrime Act.

“It is pertinent to state that unless telecoms facilities have first level of protection by the government, it will be difficult to provide uninterrupted services to the citizenry.”

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