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FG removes excise duty for telecoms services

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Mukhtar Yahaya Usman

 

 

The Federal Government has announced the removal of excise duty for telecom sub-sector of Nigeria’s Digital Economy Industry in line with the recommendations of the Committee it constituted to review the applicability of the Duty to the telecom sector which is considered already overburdened with taxation and sundry levies.

KANO FOCUS reports that Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, disclosed this on Tuesday at a press briefing in Abuja.

The briefing was organised to provide updates on the status of the five per cent excise duty, whose applicability to the telecom sector was objected by the Minister in August 2022, following which President Muhammadu Buhari suspended its application to the telecom sector and set up a Presidential Review Committee on Excise Duty in the Digital Economy Sector.

Pantami, who is the Chairman of the Committee, specifically set up for the purpose of reviewing the proposed excise duty in the telecom sector, said the Committee carried out its national assignment and accordingly submitted its report to the President, justifying why the sector should be exempted.

A statement sent to KANO FOCUS by the Director Public Affairs Nigerian Communications Commission Reuben Muoka qouted the Minister saying “the Committee’s submissions can be summed up in three arguments put forward to justify why additional burden in form of taxes or any level should not be imposed on the telecom sector to prevent a reversal of the important contribution the sector is making to the growth of the Nigerian economy.

“Our justifications are based on three premises: First, is the fact that operators in the telecoms sub-sector of the digital economy industry currently pay no fewer than 41 different categories of taxes, levies and charges; secondly, that telecoms has continued to be a major contributor to Nigerian economy in terms of Gross Domestic Product Contribution (GDP).

“The third ground for contesting the Excise Duty in telecom sector is the fact that, despite increase in the cost of all factors of production across sector, and naturally leading to increase in costs of products and services, telecom sector is the only sector where cost of service has been stable and in many cases continued to go down over the past years and therefore, adding more burden will destroy the sector.”

The Minister also informed the gathering that the President, having looked into the arguments put forward by the Committee and relying on the provision of the Section 5 of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution, as amended, has therefore, exempted telecom sector from the list of sectors to pay the excise duty as stated in Finance Act of 2021 and other subsidiary legislations, all of which are not as superior as the Constitution which permits the President to grant such waiver.

Pantami said: “I am happy to report to you that President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has approved the exemption of the digital economy sector from the five percent excise duty to be paid and this is because of the strength of the argument presented to him by the Committee that additional burden on telecom sector will increase the sufferings of Nigerians and that other sectors that are not making as much contribution to the economy should be challenged to do more and pay the five per cent excise duty.”

The Minister assured Nigerians, who are telecom consumers, that the presidential exemption given to the telecom sector shall be sustained by the incoming administration as “the decision by the President is not about any political party or any administration but about Nigeria and welfare of Nigerian citizens.”

The Minister further noted that the Digital Economy Sector has continued to contribute significantly to the growth of the Nigerian economy, having contributed 14.07 per cent to the GDP in the first quarter of 2020; 17.79 per cent in the second quarter of 2021; and 18.44 per cent in the second quarter of 2022.

He said the sector has also increased its quarterly revenue generation for the government from N51 billion to over N480 billion. The increase represents a growth of 594 per cent; while the cost of buying data has also reduced from N1,200 in 2019 to N350 presently, despite the increase in the cost of operations, including the energy challenge that has caused mobile network operators to power base stations with over 32,000 power generating to provide seamless services to their teeming consumers.

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Gov. Yusuf reinstates Emir of Gaya, appoints two others for Rano, Karaye emirates

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

Gov. Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State has approved the appointment of three second class Emirs of Rano, Gaya and Karaye Emirates.

 

KANO FOCUS reports that the new emirs are to serve as second class answerable to Kano emirate.

 

According to a statement issued by Sanusi Bature Dawakin Tofa, the Spokesperson to the Governor and made available to journalists in Kano the newly appointed Emirs are: Alhaji Muhammad Mahraz Karaye, as Emir of Karaye (who until his appointment was the District Head of Rogo); Alhaji Muhammad Isa Umar, as Emir of Rano (who until his appointment, was the District Head of Bunkure) and Alhaji Aliyu Ibrahim Abdulkadir Gaya, as Emir of Gaya (who was the emir of the defunct Gaya emirate).

 

While congratulating the newly appointed Emirs, Governor Abba K. Yusuf enjoined them to be custodians of culture, peace and unity of the people in thier respective emirates.

 

You may recall that the Governor had on Tuesday the 16th of July, 2024 signed into law three second class emirates in the state with Rano covering only Rano, Kibiya and Bunkure Local Government areas. Gaya covering only Gaya, Ajingi and Albasu Local Government areas. Karaye covers only Karaye and Rogo Local Government areas.

 

The appointments are with immediate effect.

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Publishing company trains 40 teachers on basic literacy

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

Non-Formal Development for Education and Health Initiatives (NDEHI) in collaboration with Ibzaar Publishing trained forty teachers and facilitators on basic and post basic literacy.

KANO FOCUS reports that the two day workshop held at Bayero University Kano, attracted teachers and facilitators from across the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Kano State Agency for Mass Literacy (SAME) among others.

The convener of the programme Dr. Auwal Halilu who doubles as the State Coordinator Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All (CSACEFA), explained that the workshop was organized to complement the declaration of state of emergency on education by the present administration.

Dr. Auwal Halilu

Dr Halilu, a lecturer with the Department of Adult Education and Community Development stressed that the teachers selected to undergo the training, were expected to cascade the training to forty teachers each.

“It is the first time we are seeing a corporate organization not a development partner or government entity organizing to set aside funds to train teacher for the development of our children’s education,” he said.

In his address the Chairman Kano State Universal Basic Education Board SUBEB Alhaji Yusif Kabir, pointed out that the state government has set out certain criteria for appointing head supervisors known as school support officers.

Alhaji Yusif Kabir

According to him “teachers that have a minimum of first degree must undergo aptitude test.”

He described the workshop as apt, saying that the intervention would go a long way in improving effective service delivery in the education sector as the government alone cannot do it.

The Acting Executive Secretary of Kano State Agency for Mass Education SAME, Alhaji Surajo Mahe Alkali pointed out that this is the first time they were carried along as a non-formal sector.

“I hope to see the non-formal sector living up to expectations as it is a sector that is key and critical but neglected,” he observed.

The Kano state chairman of the school-Based Management Committee SBMC, Alhaji Tijjani Baraya observed that this intervention is unique as most Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives in the state were focused on school renovation and providing teaching and learning materials.

Alhaji Tijjani Baraya

“State Basic Education Boards (SBEB) also need similar support as they are responsible for visiting and monitoring schools,” he noted.

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Gov Yusuf assents bill establishing three second-class emirates in Kano State

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

In a significant move, Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf has assented to the Kano State Emirates Council Bill 2024, which was passed by the state assembly today.

 

KANO FOCUS reports that this approval allows for the establishment of three second-class emirates within the state.

 

The governor’s spokesperson, Sunusi Bature Dawakin Tofa, made the announcement of the governor’s approval, which took place at approximately 5:26 p.m. on Tuesday at Council chamber of the Government House.

 

“This development underscores our unwavering commitment to preserving our traditional institutions and cultural heritage, recognizing them as essential pillars of peace and heritage conservation.”

 

Governor Yusuf also urged the newly established emirates to diligently serve humanity, as the state government to reveal the names of the new emirs soon.

 

Earlier today, the Kano State House of Assembly endorsed the Kano State Emirates Council Establishment Bill 2024, setting the stage for the creation of three additional second-class emirates.

 

Championed by Deputy Speaker Muhammad Bello Bututu, the bill aims to elevate Kano’s status to that of a first-class emirate, with Rano, Gaya, and Karaye identified as second-class emirates.

 

During a session presided over by Speaker Rt. House Jibrin Ismail Falgore on Tuesday, the bill underwent its third reading. The session began at 10:10 a.m. and concluded at 11:06 a.m.

 

As stipulated in the bill, the newly established Rano emirate will encompass Rano, Bunkure, and Kibiya local government areas.

 

The Gaya emirate will include Gaya, Albasu, and Ajingi local government areas, while the Karaye emirate will cover Karaye and Rogo local government areas.

 

The second-class emirs of these emirates will be answerable to the Emir of Kano.

 

They will possess the authority to counsel the Emir on matters concerning public order, territorial disputes, communal conflicts, and religious affairs within their respective domains.

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