Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is currently meeting behind closed doors with the former Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume.
The meeting started a few minutes past 1 pm at the vice president’s office.
The meeting may not be unconnected with the Senate’s decision to introduce an action to impose tax on communication services in the country.
The bill for an act to establish the Communication Service Tax was formally introduced on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday is being sponsored by Ndume.
The lawmaker from Borno State, had told newsmen after the first reading of the bill that the imposition of tax on communication service is a better way of distributing wealth in such a way that would not affect the ordinary people.
Ndume had explained that increasing VAT would have very deadly effect on the economy as it could affect the prices of goods and services and take them beyond the reach of ordinary people.
The Communication Service Tax Bill will be pegged at 9% of the charge for the use of communication services.
Ndume had informed reporters that he was going to meet with Osinbajo as head of the economic team to buy into the Communication Service Tax Bill.
The bill reads in part: “There shall be imposed, charged payable and collected a monthly Communication Service Tax to be levied on charges payable by a user of an electronic communication service other than private electronic communication services.”
The bill further stated that “the tax shall be levied on Electronic Communication Services supplied by Service Providers.”
“For the purpose of this clause, the supply of any form of recharges shall be considered as a charge for usage of Electronic Communication Service.”
Specifically, the bill provided that the “tax shall be levied on such Electronic Communication Services like voice calls, SMS, MMS, data usage both from Telecommunication Services Providers and Internet Service as well as pay-per-view TV stations.”
If the bill is passed, “The tax shall be paid together with the Electronic Communication Service charge payable to the service provider by the consumer of the service.
“The tax is due and payable on any supply of Electronic Communication Service within the time period specified under sub-clause (5) of whether or not the person making the supply is permitted or authorised to provide Electronic Communication Services.”