The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators in Nigeria (ALTON) says its members are burdened by taxes.
The association said multiple taxes have been impacting negatively on their operations adding that the 2015 Amended Taxes and Levies Order has led to the imposition of arbitrary levies and charges on telecom firms by state governments.
Addressing journalists on Tuesday, Gbenga Adebayo, ALTON chairman, said that item 3 (b) of the Amended Schedule to the Taxes and Levies (Approved List for Collection) Act introduced new levies and taxes under items 12 to 25.
“ALTON is concerned that the Amended Taxes & Levies Order, 2015 engendered the institution of multiplicity of taxes across different tiers of government. The industry is also burdened with the enactment of laws at the state government level to legitimise spurious levies and charges on our members, which negates the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
“It is disturbing that the entire instrument has given the state governments authorisation to coerce and disrupt the operations of our members in order to compel the payment of sundry levies, charges and taxes.
“Rather than the amended order addressing the issue of multiple taxation, it, on the contrary, increased the tax burden of our members and adversely impacted the ease of doing business in Nigeria.”
Adebayo requested that Kemi Adeosun, the minister of finance, review the order and the federal government issue an executive order declaring telecom infrastructure as critical national security and economic infrastructure as prescribed in the 2015 Cybercrime Act.
“It is pertinent to state that unless telecoms facilities have first level of protection by the government, it will be difficult to provide uninterrupted services to the citizenry.”
The ministry of finance together with Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has in recent times made efforts to increase the level of tax compliance including a nine-month tax amnesty programme to give individuals and companies room to regularise their taxes.