- Multiple Taxation Affecting Ease of Doing Business – ALTON
The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria has decried the negative impact of multiple taxation on business operations in the telecommunications industry.
The association said the Amended Taxes and Levies Order, 2015 failed to fix the taxable rates, which had led to the imposition of arbitrary levies and charges on telecom firms by state governments.
Rather than harmonising the taxes and levies, the Chairman, ALTON, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, said that 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.
Adebayo said, while addressing journalists in Lagos on Tuesday, “ALTON is concerned that the Amended Taxes & Levies Order, 2015 engendered the institution of multiplicity of taxes across different tiers of government. The industry is also burdened with 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.”
The ALTON chairman requested the intervention of the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, to review the Amended Taxes and Levies Order, 2015, which he adjudged to be inimical to the normal operations of telecom operators.
Adebayo also called on the Federal Government to issue an executive order declaring telecom infrastructure as critical national security and economic infrastructure as prescribed in the Cybercrime Act, 2015.
According to him, this is in recognition of the important role the sector plays in socio-economic development and security of the country.
He stated, “Our industry supports many other economic sectors. We are also the first layer of critical infrastructure for socioeconomic development and security. 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.
“We commend the Nigerian Communications Commission for being in the forefront of making sure that the ease of doing business is achieved by all stakeholders in the industry.”