The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has called for a continuous telecoms stakeholders engagement to eliminate the effects of multiple taxation on economic development.
NCC Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management, Mr Adeleke Adewolu, made the call during NCC South West Regional Telecoms Stakeholders’ Workshop on Multiple Taxations and Regulations held in Ibadan on Wednesday.
Adewolu said that multiple taxation in the telecoms industry had continued to be the bane of economic development in the country.
According to him, taxation by design remains an instrument for economic development.
He added that the initiative of all tiers of government in using taxation as an instrument for socio-economic development needed to be supported.
He, however, noted that supporting the tax initiatives by the various tiers of government includes indicating where a category of taxes had become cancerous to economic development.
“These types of taxes typically manifest themselves in the form of multiple taxation and by design, they reverse growth, stifle innovation and discourage investment.
“The 2017 Tax Policy specifically states that taxes similar to those being collected by a level of government should not be introduced by the same or another level of government.
“President Bola Tinubu, in his commitment to address the vexed issue of multiple taxation, recently signed a number of Executive Orders to curb arbitrary taxes in the country.
“This I believe will facilitate a conducive environment for local and foreign investment into the country, ” Adewolu said.
Also the Director, Monitoring and Enforcement, NCC, Mr Efosa Idehen, said that the workshop theme “Navigating the Landscape of Multiple Taxation and Regulations: Fostering Sustainable Growth Through Collaboration”, was apt.
According to him, the theme was chosen to reflect the NCCs core value of strategic partnership and the dire need for concerted effort to allow the telecoms sector to breathe to its full potential.
“This campaign is not against the fair and legitimate tax heads of respective government agencies as prescribed by law but a solemn call for the review and implementation of a workable structure that ensures only legitimate payment, “he said.
In his contribution, the Executive Secretary, Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Mr Gbolahan Awonuga, said that Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) now paid up to 49 different taxes to governments and their agencies in Nigeria.
He noted that multiple taxation and other challenges such as power, vandalism, host communities problems, amongst others, remained major impediments to infrastructure and network penetration in Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop featured contributions from heads of government agencies, MNOs, subscribers and other critical stakeholders in the telecommunications industry.