President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Communications Commissioned have submitted a “GSM Bill” to the National Assembly.
The bill seeks to empower the FG to impose 9% taxation on all calls, texts and data packages if passed into law.
Here is the meaning: If you purchase a recharge card for N1000 naira and load it. FG will immediately deduct N90 from that N1000!
But here is the problem: Nigerians are already paying taxes for using mobile phone networks.
Look at the back of the scratch cards you bought. You will see that you paid for “VAT” or value added tax already.
What the Buhari led administration is trying to do is to institutionalize hardship.
Millions of Nigerians paid tax all their life without enjoying any of the facilities that tax paying brings like water, good roads, electricity, quality education and health etc.
Why must they even charge anything in the first place when the cost of recharging our phones is vat inclusive?
Daily we see evidence of disconnect between the government and Nigerians especially the poor and unemployed.
The General Secretary of the NLC, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, described the bill as a bad policy with potential to deepen poverty in the society.
“We believe it is a bad policy. It will visit more hardship on Nigerians by the very nature of the tax.
“Even the small traders depend of communication via GSM to be able to transact their businesses and therefore the tax that is imposed across board is regressive.
“We always insist that you must do a tax system that does not put unnecessary burden on the poor,” Dr. Peter said.
Also, the President of Civil Liberties Organization, Igho Akeregha, said the planned GSM tax is an obnoxious and tyrannical plan.
Igho said the plan will further impoverish Nigerians by way of foisting devious tax on them.
“The CLO will definitely join forces with our allies in labor and the CSO’s to resist the GSM tax which clearly is an extortionist agenda.
“Enough is enough of this undemocratic assault on Nigerians.”