Buhari Wants You to Pay More Tax for Phone Calls

August 10, 2022

If there’s one thing the Buhari government knows how to do, it’s to keep taking without giving enough back. That’s exactly how he’s driven Nigeria’s debt profile from ₦12.1 trillion in 2015 to ₦41.6 trillion in 2022

For his next trick, he’s raising taxes on the telecommunications industry that’s going to make life a bit harder for everyone. 

Buhari needs more of your tax

How’s he gonna do it?

The Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, announced on August 4th 2022 that a 5% inclusive excise duty is about to fall on telecom services in Nigeria. 

Buhari needs more of your tax

This tax didn’t just come out of nowhere. In fact, it’s in the Finance Act of 2020 but remained dormant like a tumour just cooking to fuck up your life when you least expect it.

Ultimately, the decision to fix the rate on excise duties was on President Always Take, and he’d been taking his time to do that, until now.

Why’s Buhari doing this?

Buhari needs more of your tax

The truth is Nigeria is broke. The country’s income isn’t even enough to take care of settling its debt, not to talk of other things you need money to run. 

Like TGIF

And since Nigeria’s oil revenue isn’t vomiting nearly enough money, the government is looking into non-oil sectors to pull their weight. That’s why the president is turning to the telecom sector to squeeze some more revenue out of it for the government to spend.


ALSO READ: What Nigeria Can Learn from Kenya About Cutting Politicians’ Salaries


But how does this affect your pocket?

When the government announced the imminent implementation of the additional 5% tax, operators didn’t waste any time in passing it on to their customers. The Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecom Owners of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, said operators already pay too many taxes to the government and can’t shoulder another one. And what’s even crazier is that this tax is rare in a sector like telecom.

Excise duties are indirect taxes placed on the manufacture of non-essential, potentially harmful products like alcohol and tobacco. You can call it a “sin tax” in the sense that it exists to discourage the consumption of such products.

YOLO

But in this case, Buhari has extended the sin tax to something as essential as talking to your family and friends as this will affect the prices of things like recharge cards and vouchers. Why would he do this? Maybe because he hates your enjoyment. Or he needs all the revenue he can get to send more exotic cars across the border to his first cousins in Niger Republic.

Buhari needs more of your tax

Is anyone fighting this?

Telecom operators aren’t happy about the excise duty, but they’re passing the burden of it to their customers like it’s an STD, so it may be naive to expect them to put up a spirited fight. But someone else has offered to do that. 

Resident terrorist sympathiser who’s also the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, is a surprise objector to the tax.

The minister said more taxes on the telecom sector makes no sense as it’s already one of the government’s hottest honeypots

Buhari needs more of your tax

Pantami feels so strongly about the tax that he’s vowed to fight it by any means necessary so it doesn’t destroy the digital economy sector.

What’s the damage here?

Only a handful of countries place excise duty on telecom services. And the danger is that consumption levels may drop because Nigerians are already seeing shege with the state of the economy. If demand drops, the revenue generated from the telecom sector may start to shrink and ultimately worsen Nigeria’s revenue headache.

Right now, it’s still unclear when full implementation of the excise tax will commence, but if it does, communication is about to get more expensive for you.

ALSO READ: Buhari Is Using Exotic Cars to Fight Insecurity in Niger Republic

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

October 9, 2020

Men of the Nigerian Police Force have reportedly harassed and attacked EndSARS protesters who were demonstrating in front of the government house tonight. Unidentified policemen reportedly seized the protesters tents where they have been camped for two nights. They were also said to have threatened the protesters if they did not disperse At around 10 […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

November 22, 2019

It can be very stressful when you’re trying to find the love of your life, but you only keep meeting people that are exactly like your yeye ex. To help you be more aware of that problem, we’ve created a quiz that lets you know the kind of people you are attracting. Take it to […]

November 30, 2019

With No Nut November FINALLY coming to an end, we’ve decided to mark the torturous month with some more horny content. After quizzes that guessed how many people you’ve slept with, how good you are in bed and who you’ll sleep with next, this one will guess when next you’ll get lucky. Take it to […]

November 20, 2019

Last month, we thoughtfully made a quiz telling you guys exactly when you’ll marry, but some of you claimed that your spouse was nowhere to be found. Well, now we’ve created one that’ll tell you exactly who you’ll be dragging down that aisle. Take and start planning that wedding: 11 Quizzes For Nigerians Who Are […]

October 29, 2019

We are going to be attempting to guess when you’ll marry based on your favourite Nigerian foods. What does your fave swallow have to do with when you’ll tie the knot? Please, don’t ask complicated questions. This quiz is rigorous and accurate (don’t quote us), so just take it already. QUIZ: Why Do You Have […]

More from Citizen

October 1, 2022

“I can’t tell you how much I miss Lagos conductors.” When Tega got into Harvard in March, she didn’t anticipate how much of her life was bout to change. Now, it’s been a week since she moved to Cambridge and she shares how it feels navigating a new city with no family or friends.

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

September 13, 2022
Vs The World is a Zikoko original video series that follows best friends Astor and Hassan as they take on the world.
August 23, 2022
Zikoko Ships is a Zikoko Original series where we invite two people who share a relationship to play the Zikoko card games
December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X