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Nigerians To Pay New Tax For Making Telephone Calls

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Nigerians To Pay New Tax For Making Telephone Calls

Nigerians will now have to bear the weight of a new tax introduced by the federal government to fund free healthcare for the vulnerable in the country.

Accordingly, Naija News understands the tax known as telecom tax which will be charged on phone calls will provide a minimum of one kobo per second for phone calls to fund the healthcare provisions.

The tax is part of the provisions contained in the National Health Insurance Authority Bill 2021 signed into law last week by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Section 26, subsection 1c of the act states that the source of money for the Vulnerable Group Fund includes telecommunications tax, not less than one kobo per second of GSM calls.

Explaining the provision, the Fiscal Policy Partner and Africa Tax Leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Taiwo Oyedele, said, “S.26 of this new law imposes a telecommunications tax of not less than 1kobo per second on GSM calls. With call rates at about 11kobo per second, this translates to a 9 per cent tax on GSM calls.

“The tax is one of the sources of money to the Vulnerable Group Fund to subsidise the provision of healthcare to the group defined to include children under five, pregnant women, the aged, physically and mentally challenged, and the indigent as may be defined from time to time.”

It is understood that part of the aim of the act is to make funds available for Nigerians who are unable to pay for their healthcare and give them access to healthcare services.

Other sources of funding include grants, donations, gifts, and any other voluntary contributions made to the Vulnerable Group Fund.

According to the new act, every resident in Nigeria is expected to obtain health insurance.