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May 30, 2024

CITAD urges FG to abandon planned Telecom Tax reintroduction

By Mustapha Salisu

The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has issued a strong warning to the Nigerian government regarding its planned reintroduction of telecom tax, citing potentially devastating consequences for ordinary citizens.

According to reports, the government plans to reintroduce the tax as part of efforts to secure a $750 million loan from the World Bank.

In a press statement issued to newsmen on Wednesday by the Centre, Executive Director of CITAD, Y.Z Ya’u, argues that this move will only exacerbate existing challenges in the telecom sector, including affordability and accessibility issues, and will have a negative impact on the lives of millions of Nigerians.

Ya’u notes that the proposed tax will lead to a decrease in telecom services usage, hindering Nigeria’s progress towards digital transformation and exacerbating existing economic challenges. Instead, he recommends that the government focus on measures to reduce the cost of access to technology and promote digital inclusion.

“This includes investing in last-mile connectivity infrastructure to reach remote and rural areas with limited access to telecommunications services, introducing subsidies and incentives for underserved communities, and simplifying regulatory processes to encourage investment in the sector” he said.

Ya’u further emphasizes the importance of affordable access to telecommunications services for socioeconomic development and inclusive growth while urging the government to explore alternative revenue generation strategies and prioritize digital literacy programs to empower citizens with the skills and knowledge needed to fully participate in the digital economy.

Y.Z Ya’u however stated that “affordable access to telecommunications services is not a privilege, but a fundamental right that should be protected and promoted by the government.”

He called on the government to reconsider its plan and work towards bridging the digital divide, ensuring inclusivity and national development.

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Mustapha Salisu

Mustapha Salisu is a graduate of BSc. Information and Media Studies from Bayero University Kano, with experience in Communication Skills as well as Public Relations.

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