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General News of Monday, 23 May 2022


President Buhari approves new tax for phone calls

President Muhammadu Buhari President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the collection of taxes on every phone call made by Nigerians.

The telecom tax in the equivalent of a minimum of one kobo per second for phone calls and will be the source of funds required to finance free healthcare for the Vulnerable Group in Nigeria.

The newly approved tax is contained in the National Health Insurance Authority Bill 2021 signed by President Buhari.

Government to collect over N90 billion yearly

According to the Nigerian Communications Commission, Nigerians made 150.83 billion minutes of calls in 2020. This translates to 9.05 trillion seconds of calls, meaning the new tax will generate 9.05 trillion kobo, which converts to N90.49bn, yearly, the Punch reports.

Purpose of the Tax

According to the Health Insurance Act, the Vulnerable Group Fund is money budgeted to pay for healthcare services for vulnerable Nigerians who cannot pay for health insurance in a bid to subsidise the cost of provision of health care services to vulnerable people in the country.

It added that the Vulnerable Group Fund will subsidise the provision of healthcare to children under five, pregnant women, the aged, physically and mentally challenged, and the indigent as may be defined from time to time.

More details from the tax

The act also makes provision for several options such as basic health care provision fund to the authority; health insurance levy; telecommunications tax, not less than one kobo per second of GSM calls; money that may be allocated to the Vulnerable Group Fund by the Government; motley that accrues to the Vulnerable Group Fund from investments made by the Council: and grants, donations, gifts, and any other voluntary contributions made to the Vulnerable Group Fund.

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