Nigerian Government to harmonise taxation of ICT operators

The Federal Government says it will look into the complaint of multiple taxation with a view of harmonising them to lessen the burden on ICT operators in the country.

The Minister of Communications, Mr Adebayo Shittu, made the promise when he featured at a Forum of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

He noted that many local, state and federal government operatives demand taxes from operators which actually increases their expenditures.

“So, I agree that there are allegations of multiple taxes.

“And now, I have challenged the operators to bring all of these taxes forward to let to us see how we will harmonise them,“ he said.

He, however, said that taxes were necessary as even in the developed countries like UK, U.S. governments were run on peoples’ taxes.

Shittu, however, urged political leaders in the country to see telecoms as a strategic national asset without which Nigeria could not make progress.

“If you are a governor and you don’t have access to telecommunications in this world, how will you reach to the masses, how do you communicate,’’ he queried.

He also called on stakeholders in the ICT sector to deepen efforts in promoting the sector to improve nation’s economy.

According to him, the ministry will sustain its collaboration with the organised private sector to further provide the opportunity of exploring “the unbelievable potential of ICT’’.

“I am also using this platform to call all operators within the ICT sector to come forward for an interaction with me to look at whatever needs to be done in order for us to improve.

“There are many employment opportunities to be explored if good attention will be placed in the direction of ICT,’’ he said.

The minister said that the government deliberately invited the financial community to come and invest in telecom sector in Nigeria.

“The invitation is for such financial community to invest their money, invest their technology and invest their skilled personnel.

“As a political leader, I always believe that one has multiple duties; to protect the interest of the masses as well as to protect interest of operators,“ he said.

NAN/Nnenna.O