Nigerian Government enforces new tax on phone calls for backing healthcare

Nigerian Government enforces new tax on phone calls for backing healthcare

The government of Nigeria is reportedly set to impose a new tax on phone calls in the country to meet the rising needs of citizens who are more prone to health challenges.

Telecommunication firms are undertaking this move to augment the cost of their services due to the stiff economic realities.

As per reliable sources, the telecom tax would be equal to one kobo each second for a phone call. This will amplify the funds needed to support the free healthcare group of Nigeria.

Taiwo Oyedele, Fiscal Policy Partner & Africa Tax Leader at PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers), said that S.26 of the novel law executes a tax of not less than 1kobo each second on GSM calls. With call charges of approximately 11 kobo/second, this intends to be a 9% tax on GSM calls.

The tax is one of the major sources to offer money to the Vulnerable Group Fund for supporting the healthcare facility to the group including pregnant women, children under five, physically and mentally challenged, the aged, and the needy.

As per the act, the Vulnerable Group Fund is the money financed for paying for healthcare services for Nigerians who cannot afford health insurance, in an attempt to back the cost of healthcare services to the susceptible people in the country.

For funding, the act offers several options like basic health care provision funds to the health insurance levy and authority, telecommunications tax, not less than one kobo each second of GSM calls.

It further specifies that the money assigned to the Vulnerable Group Fund by the Management; that generally accumulates to the Vulnerable Group Fund from finances made by the donations, grants, gifts, and Council and any other charitable contributions made to the Vulnerable Group Fund.

Additionally, according to this new act, every citizen of Nigeria is expected to get a health insurance policy.

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