- Telcos Write Senate, Propose 1% Communication Tax
The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, the umbrella body of telecoms companies in the country, has written to the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, proposing one per cent communication tax.
In the letter made available to our correspondent, and signed by the ATCON President, Mr. Olusola Teniola, the association said it would continue to kick against the proposed nine per cent Communication Service Tax Bill, until its review to one per cent.
Teniola said there were reasons to suggest that the desire to widen the tax net was laudable and that as things stood, telecommunications industry was about one of the few areas where the net-capture could be widened.
“We, therefore, suggest that an increase in VAT tax, which is already included in all services of telecommunications by an increase that is not beyond one per cent should be a good reform strategy,” the APCON president stated.
According to him, the input of recent studies by credible organisations is APCON’s guide.
“The projections are that a new tax on the ICT services as high as nine per cent that is being proposed will result in excluding 10 per cent of the population, that is talking of about 20 million Nigerians from access; whereas, the survival of our economy is on attracting more citizens to have access to Internet and therefore ICT services. It does not add up if whatever we do ends up not bringing more people into access.
“The reality of Internet access in Nigeria is that it is all about mobile. Only about 13 per cent of Nigerians get broadband access via mobile while less than one per cent of the people do from fixed services,” he said.
The ATCON boss stated that one of the main reasons the rate of Internet adoption and use was rather slow in Nigeria was the high cost of data subscription.
He said, “A 500MB plan costs typically 5.4 per cent of average monthly income. The current definition of affordability used by the United Nations Broadband Commission is where the price of a broadband plan is less than five per cent of average monthly income. If we are to use this definition, Nigeria is on the cusp of affordability.”
He added, “In Nigeria, the average income in 2014 was $2970 (GNI per capita, source: World Bank), 40 per cent of the population actually earned less than half that amount. In practice, this means that a 500MB mobile Internet plan priced at 5.4 per cent of average monthly income actually costs the majority of Nigerians anywhere between seven per cent and 18 per cent of monthly income.”
Teniola, however, said that ATCON would be happy to support the government to make the best of the tax efforts, saying they were certainly key components of strengthening the economy and sustaining the industry.
“Our mandate is to support the Federal Government to succeed in attracting and protecting investments in the telecommunications industry and to make meaningful input to all aspects of economic development, including legislation and management of our industry, so it continues to be the oil of growth and development.”
The group added, “No doubt, there is severe pressure at this time and government revenue cannot be different. We, however, pray that the template with which the telecoms industry is viewed and assessed be slightly modified.
“The truth is that there is severe over taxation in our industry. It explains the slow penetration of services into ‘unserved’ areas of the country. The truth again is that contrary to popular belief, telecommunication operators and service providers are barely sustaining existence in these times.”
Uber Raises Tfare By 13 Percent In Lagos
The economy option for ride-share giant company, Uber, popularly referred to as UberX, has been increased by 13 percent in Lagos State.
An electronic mail message from the ride-hailing firm to its drivers stated that the increment would start from May 11, 2021.
Uber said the increase was to ensure a reliable earning opportunity for driver-partners.
“At Uber, we remain committed to providing a reliable earning opportunity for driver-partners, as well as a reliable and affordable service for riders. With this in mind, starting 11th May 2021, we are increasing prices on UberX by about 13 percent,” the message read.
Earlier, Uber and Bolt drivers under the aegis of Professional E-hailing Drivers and Partners Association, declared a strike in April in Lagos, seeking an upward review of e-cab fares to reflect the current economic
They also wanted both companies to reduce the commission charged on rides from 25 percent to 10 percent.
National President of PEDPA, Mr. Idris Shonuga, had at a news conference in Lagos, said, “Instead of fixing a new and reasonable fare in line with inflation, the companies have recklessly continued to maintain the low fare, thereby, impoverishing hard-working young Nigerians who are diligently and lawfully trying to make a decent living.”
The e-cab operators also demanded adequate welfare package for drivers and compensation to the families of those that lost their lives or are permanently disabled in the line of duty.
The association said that more than 15 drivers had lost their lives, while some had been permanently disabled in accidents in the course of the service.
It also said more than 20 others have also lost their lives through kidnapping or killed by ritualists without any compensation from the operators.
CEOs of Major Tech Companies Have Sold Over $6 Billion of Their Stocks in 2021
Data acquired and calculated by Finbold indicates that CEOs of the five selected major tech firms have sold $6.36 billion worth of shares between January 1 and May 10, 2021.
Jeff Bezos leads, having offloaded AMZN shares worth $4.9 billion. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has sold $1.2 billion of his stock. Cumulatively, the two executives have offloaded $6.1 billion worth of shares from their respective companies.
Elsewhere, Nvidia CEO Huang Jen Hsun has sold $77.28 million worth of shares to rank third. Microsoft chief executive Nadella Satya has offloaded $65.44 million of MSFT stock, while Alphabet’s Pichai Sundar has sold $33.05 million. Among the top tech companies, only Tesla and Apple CEOs have not sold any of their stock in 2021.
Insider selling follows a surge in tech stocks
The highlighted companies have recorded a spike in the stock value over the past year, and the research report notes that:
“The sales come in the wake of tech sector stocks surging to new highs amid the coronavirus pandemic. In the pandemic, with wide-scale lockdowns, the companies run by the CEOs played a key role by offering services and products to help people manage the effects of the health crisis. The attention on these services drives the stock prices to record levels.”
Although insider trading is increasing in popularity, the activity is an essential indicator for investors to predict future price movement.
Overall, insider trades offer the overall market and investor outlook. When a single executive increases selling activity but others hold their shares, it does not call for alarm among investors.
MTN Nigeria Resumes SIM Card Sales, Activation
MTN Nigeria has resumed the sales of SIM cards across the nation, according to the latest report from the leading telecommunications company.
In a statement released on Monday, MTN Nigeria said customers can walk into any of the stores listed below to buy and activate their SIM cards.
Customers are therefore advised to visit with their National Identity Number (NIN) and any of their voter’s card, driver’s license and international passport.
The statement reads “We are delighted to inform you that SIM card sales have commenced in some select MTN stores.
“Simply walk into any of the stores listed below to buy and activate your SIM.
“Thank you for choosing MTN
“To make your experience at our store seamless and make the process faster, please be kind to come with the following:
1. Your National Identity Number (NIN) is mandatory by law for registering and activating your new SIM.
2. In addition, please come along with any one of these valid, government issued IDs:
i. Your NIN slip
ii. Your Voter’s Card
iii. Your Driver’s License
iv. Your international passport.
SIM registration cannot be done by proxy.
If you do not yet have a NIN, please click on this link Enrolment Centres – CUSTOMER NIN CAPTURE (mtnonline.com) to find the nearest enrollment center
“We look forward to seeing you, and welcoming you to the Yello Family soon!”
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