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Telecoms firms threaten tariff hike over CBN-imposed fee

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Olusola Teniola, ATCON President

Telecommunications companies have rejected a recent directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) mandating banks to impose 0.005 per cent levy on all electronic transactions, proceeds of which would be transferred into a National Cyber Security Fund account with the apex bank.

The companies under the aegis of Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), yesterday, in Lagos, said such levy would amount to multiple taxation on the already over-taxed sector.

The President of ATCON, Olusola Teniola, while addressing journalists, said the businesses, which are to be affected by the newly introduced levy, include GSM service providers and all telecommunication companies; Internet Service Providers; banks and other financial institutions; insurance companies and Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

The association therefore threatened that if the matter was not adequately addressed, it may be forced to pass the hike down to consumers through increase in voice and data tariff.

Teniola, who said the ICT and telecommunications sector currently pay 39 different taxes and levies, noted that the 0.005 per cent levy would cripple if not render useless government and private sector efforts to speed up the broadband penetration in Nigeria and “our association has a mandate to protect the over $70 billion investment in the telecoms industry from undue pressure from the government in the form of yet additional burden on our members that are already overtaxed by all tiers of governments.”

According to him, ATCON is a professional, non-profit, non-political umbrella organization of telecommunications companies of Nigeria.


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