The telecom industry annually contributes N450 billion in form of taxes to Nigeria’s economy, Mr Olusola Teniola, President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, has said.
Teniola told journalists in Lagos on Friday that the industry had been paying the sum in the last five years to the three tiers of government.
He said that certain taxes including corporation and Pay As You Earn were statutory, claiming that multiple taxes and some other levies made up the sum.
“These levies represent N200 billion out of the N450 billion we pay annually.
“This extra N200 billion we are paying can be used to effectively roll out our networks and improve quality of services,’’ he claimed.
Teniola said that there were currently 38 taxes being paid by the industry.
According to the ATCON chairman, the taxes include right of way, annual operating levy, corporation tax, custom duty and stamp duty.
“The fact remains that, of the 38 taxes, only 10 are applicable to the industry.
“We call for harmonisation of all taxes in our industry by the Federal Ministry of Finance; if it is done, things will be better.
“If the taxes are harmonised, the Federal Government can distribute taxes paid at the federal level to the state and local government.
“That way, state and local governments will stop asking for money that is not even paid at the federal level.
“Likewise, local government should go to the state to request for its share of taxes paid by the industry,” he said.
Teniola appealed that state and local governments should align taxes which have things in common.
He also appealed to the governments to use the taxes to improve the lives of the citizens.