Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) has expressed displeasure over the proposed bill to impose Communication Service Tax (CST) of up to 9 per cent on all phone calls, short message services (SMS), multimedia messaging service (MMS), data packages, and pay television, and has subsequently demanded the termination of the bill.
The Country Director of AAN, Ms. Ojobo Atuluku, in a statement signed on Tuesday by the Communication Director of the anti-poverty agency, Ms. Onyinyechi Okechukwu, rejected the bill as anti-people.
Atuluku rather urged the Federal Government to focus on luxury goods and property taxes as more progressive nations are doing to generate revenue for their countries.
She said: “This is not acceptable as it puts a huge burden on poor people who are already paying a very high price from multiple taxes.
“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 AAN boss 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?” she asked.
Atuluku, however, called on all communication companies to accept their responsibilities and pay their fair share of taxes.
She warned: “Any attempt to pass their tax responsibilities on Nigerian consumers will not be accepted”.