CBN Gov Emefiele Asks FG To Tax Phone Calls Above 3 Minutes Nigerians Make
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele has advised the Federal Government to tax phone calls Nigerians make above 3 minutes.
The tax, Emefiele advocates would form part of plans to cushion the effect of the economic recession on the country.
The CBN governor made the shocking remark while speaking at the Annual Bankers’ Dinner in Lagos on Friday.
Emefiele said the government could raise additional revenue by introducing the charge.
“There are several ways we can raise additional revenue to finance the increased expenditure that is needed to engender fast and sustainable growth in the economy.
“I think we can consider introducing a negligible telecom surcharge to be entirely borne by the initiator of a call.
“In order to protect the poor and vulnerable amongst us, we could structure it to only take effect after the third minute of talk.
“Some analyses have indicated that the government could earn about N100 billion per annum from this alone.
“Obviously this surcharge will mainly be borne by middle and upper-class people since I do not know many poor people who make calls for more than 3 minutes!”
Emefiele while delivering an address in Lagos on Friday asked the government to consider alternative revenue generating means.
He also said Nigeria could “consider introducing minimal property taxes across the country.
The CBN boss opines that this will not only raise money for the government but also could be a veritable weapon against corruption.
Emefiele Asks FG To Tax Phone Calls, Properties.
Since it creates a database of people who really own homes in the country.
He also suggested that:
“Another option to consider would be to fully implement the 2003 Cabotage Act.
“This is Act stipulates that all cargoes and passengers in the inland and coastal waters be transported by ships and ferries built, owned, crewed and manned by Nigerians.
“Contrary to the requirement of this Act, there are several foreign-owned vessels providing shipping services locally.
“Out of about 600 ships that operate within our waters, only about 60 of them are owned by Nigerians and are mostly idle, in violation of the Act.
“Industry sources suggest Nigeria may be losing as much as N2 trillion annually from this anomaly.
“In addition to raising revenue, a full implementation of the Act could also spur job creation, capacity building, and significant backward integration.”
Speaking on the CBN’s role in getting the country back to growth, Emefiele said MSMEs and agriculture were major drivers of the economy.
Emefiele added that the CBN had been investing in both areas to drive growth.
He hinted that Nigeria must prepare for a Donald Trump presidency, and other nationalists around the world.
He called for the protection of Nigerian businesses from external shocks.