Subscribers and telecom operators have said that they will go to any lengths to ensure that the proposed Communications Services Tax bill will not see light of the day. The bill, which has scaled first reading in the lower legislative chamber is currently in the Senate. Punch Newspapers reports that subscribers under the aegis of the National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers have vowed to use all means including labor unions to push the country to a standstill if attempts to pass the bill into law continue.
The Chairman of the Association, Mr. Adeolu Ogunbanjo said that the group shall ‘bring the government of Nigeria to a standstill should the lawmakers at the National Assembly continue with the process of passing that bill into law’, reports Punch Newspapers.
Telecoms operators have also decried any consideration of the bill which is currently in the Senate, as they believe it would lead to mass exodus of foreign investment out of the country due to a highly unfavorable business environment. Gbenga Adebayo, President, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, said that the bill would serve no other purpose than to reduce investment in the sector and consumption of the services by Nigerians.
As regards the expected increase in revenue, Taiwo Oyedele, a partner at PriceWaterCooper, said it was ‘based on wrong assumptions and overestimated’ because an increase in tax would lead to an increase in prices and a reduction in users. A reduced number of users would lead to even lower revenues, according to Oyedele.
It would be remembered that Nairametrics had earlier reported concerns of stakeholders over the bill, with the Minister promising to look into a balance that would foster the growth of the sector. Concerns over possible reduction in investment and consumption of services affected had led several stakeholders to request that the bill be reconsidered.
News Team/Punch Newspapers