OrderPaperToday-The House of Representatives has mandated its Committee on Information and Communications Technology to investigate alleged tax avoidance by telecommunication companies.

Some of the companies mentioned are Glo, Airtel and 9mobile.

The decision to investigate the telcos followed the adoption of a motion moved by Uzoma Abonta.

Abonta, while leading the motion, explained that the National Information Development Agency Act “mandates GSM Service Providers and all to pay level of Telecommunications companies, as well as Cyber Companies and Internet Providers to pay a levy of 1% of their profit before tax into
National Information Technology Development Fund.”

He noted that this Act affects companies on an annual turnover of N100,000,000 and above.

The lawmaker said that Federal Inland Revenue Services is mandated to assess, collect and pay all accruable levies into the fund, while the board of NITDA has powers to manage the fund.

He noted that Airtel and Glo have not paid any levy since 2012 and 9mobile has not paid at all.

Abonta accused the companies of resorting to under-declaring  earnings to avoid remitting the levies.

“In reality, these companies make huge amount of annual profits that run into billions of naira and may, with the aid of FIRS officials, be resorting to sharp practices that will enable them declare loss or less profit, thereby avoiding payment of National Information Technology Development tax or making underpayment, ” he said.

He, therefore, expressed worries that “if companies are allowed to evade or underpay tax, Nigeria will continue to lose veritable source for generation of revenue, and development will be slow or hampered.”

The House, therefore, mandated its committee on ICT To investigate payment and remittance of tax accruable to the National Information Technology Development Fund by GSM Service Providers and all Telecommunication companies, as well other Cyber Companies and Internet Providers, since 2008 till date and report back to the House within 1 month.

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