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FG imposes more tax on phone users to fund healthcare

FG imposes more tax on phone users to fund healthcare 1

There are indications that telecommunication subscribers will begin to pay more for calls with the introduction of new tax law on phone calls ready for implementation.

An initiative of the Federal Government, the new tax law is contained in the National Health Insurance Authority Bill 2021 signed last week by President Muhammadu Buhari.

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The new telecom tax is one of several sources listed in the health bill to raise funds to finance free healthcare for the “Vulnerable Group” in Nigeria.

Section 26(1C) of the Act provides for telecommunications tax, not less than one kobo per second of GSM calls.

Other fundraising sources for the funding of free healthcare for the “Vulnerable Group” were also listed as follows: money 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 fund.

The Vulnerable Group Fund will fund healthcare services for vulnerable Nigerians including children under five, pregnant women, the aged, the physically and mentally challenged, and the indigent.

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Going by the new Act’s provisions, persons resident in Nigeria are expected to obtain health insurance. This will help subsidize the cost of healthcare services to less privileged persons in the country.

The new tax is coming weeks after telecom providers called for a 40 per cent increase in service tariffs which covers calls, SMS and data.

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