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FG imposes new tax on telephone calls

The Federal Government has introduced a new tax on phone calls to fund free healthcare for the Vulnerable Group in Nigeria.

The telecom tax is the equivalent of a minimum of one kobo per second for phone calls to boost the funds required to finance free healthcare for the vulnerable group in Nigeria.

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This is contained in the National Health Insurance Authority Bill 2021 signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on May 19, 2022.

The law defines the vulnerable group as children under five, pregnant women, the aged, physically and mentally challenged persons, and the indigent “as may be defined from time to time”.

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It specified that the money from the vulnerable group fund shall be expended to provide subsidy for health insurance coverage of vulnerable persons as determined by the council; and for the payment of health insurance premiums for the indigent.

Speaking on the development via his Twitter handle, Taiwo Oyedele, fiscal policy partner and Africa tax leader at PwC, said the new telcommuncations tax is equivalent to a 9 percent tax on GSM calls since call rates are charged at 11 kobo per second.

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