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Director General of the Federation Budget Office, Ben Akabueze, argued that the 5% telecom tax is still in effect because the Federation Budget Office and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning were not informed of the suspension.

Ben Akabueze opposed the position of the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy.

king of investors had earlier reported that the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, had announced that the federal government had suspended its proposed 5% excise duty on telecommunications services.

The ministry made the statement on Monday during the inaugural meeting of the Presidential Committee on Excise Duties for the Digital Economy where it lamented that the telecommunications sector is already overwhelmed by excessive and multiple taxations.

Contrary to the minister’s position, Ben Akabueze pointed out that the 5% tax on telecommunications services is part of the revenues planned by the federal government to finance the medium-term expenditure framework that has been adopted.

Speaking on Arise News Television, Akabueze argued that a suspension of the 5% telecommunications tax would spell the end of the 2023 budget as it would further increase the budget deficit.

He revealed that there had been several consultations with telecom operators before the bill was passed.

“It’s not something that the Ministry of Finance woke up and introduced. The finance bill passed through the Federal Executive Council; it went to the National Assembly because, an executive bill from Mr. President, there were public hearings, and at the end of the day they passed it as law,” he said. he declares.

“Let me say, I don’t know about the suspension, I mean it’s the law now. So I haven’t heard beyond what I’ve read in the media. We don’t have not been informed of the suspension. So, for example, recently the Federal Executive Council adopted the medium-term expenditure framework for 2023 and 2025. This includes projections for this tax; this framework is currently before the National Assembly over the past two weeks, and the finance committee of the National Assembly has had engagements with government agencies on this subject.

“So when we are formally notified that this is no longer applicable, then we will have to rework the medium-term expenditure framework. This means, of course, that projected revenues will decrease and deficits will increase, which means that we we either have to cut spending or increase the debt,” he concluded.

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