Tinubu suspends 5% tax on telecom services, signs four executive orders

President Bola Tinubu has signed four executive orders to suspend some of the tax policies that have been affecting businesses and households in the country. One of the orders suspends the 5% excise tax on telecommunication services as well as the excise duties escalation on locally manufactured products. Another order suspends the newly introduced green tax by way of excise tax on single-use plastics, including plastic containers and bottles. The president also ordered the suspension of import tax adjustment levy on certain vehicles.

The presidential spokesman, Dele Alake, announced these orders during a press briefing at the State House in Abuja on Thursday. He said that the president issued these orders to ameliorate the negative impacts of the tax adjustments on businesses and chokehold on households across affected sectors. He added that the president will not exacerbate the plight of Nigerians and will continue to give requisite stimulus by way of friendly policies to allow businesses to flourish in the country.

Alake also explained that some of the tax policies were being implemented retroactively with their commencement dates pre-dating the official publication of the relevant legal instruments backing the policies. This lacuna has created some challenges in implementation, he said.

Based on the new executive orders, the Finance Act (Effective Date Variation) Order, 2023, has now deferred the commencement date of the changes contained in the Act from May 23, 2023, to September 1, 2023. This is to ensure adherence to the 90 days minimum advance notice for tax changes as contained in the 2017 National Tax Policy.

Similarly, the president signed the Customs, Excise Tariff (Variation) Amendment Order, 2023. This has also shifted the commencement date of the tax changes from March 27, 2023, to August 1, 2023 and also in line with the National Tax Policy.

The president assured Nigerians that there will not be further tax raise without robust and wide consultations undertaken within the context of a coherent fiscal policy framework.

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