ActionAid Nigeria has expressed displeasure over the proposed bill to impose Communication Service Tax (CST) up to 9% on all phone calls, short message service (SMS), multimedia messaging service (MMS), data Packages, and pay television demanding the termination of the bill.
According to the Country Director of the anti-poverty agency, Ojobo Ode Atuluku, “This is not acceptable as it puts a huge burden on poor people who are already paying a very high price from multiple taxes”.
She further says the Federal Government needs to focus on luxury and property tax as more progressive nations are doing to generate revenue for their countries.
Atuluku who said that “the bill if passed into law would be additional burden on the poor who are already bearing the burden of the misrule of the Nigeria political and business class is akin to punishing the poor for the sins of the rich”
The Nigeria chief executive of the anti-poverty agency further pointed out that the recent explanation that proceeds of the tax would be invested on infrastructural development is untenable. “Why must the poor who will be the most affected be the ones paying for infrastructural deficits brought about by the recklessness of the rich political class and their collaborators in the business class?’ Atuluku asked.
ActionAid Nigeria has also called on all communication companies to accept their responsibilities and pay their fair share of taxes. Any attempted to pass their tax responsibilities on Nigerian consumers will not be accepted.