Tag Archives: Nigeria

Benin is the latest African nation taxing the internet

taxationBenin has joined a growing list of African states imposing levies for using the internet.

The government passed a decree in late August taxing its citizens for accessing the internet and social-media apps. The directive, first proposed in July, institutes a fee (link in French) of 5 CFA francs ($0.008) per megabyte consumed through services like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter. It also introduces a 5% fee, on top of taxes, on texting and calls, according to advocacy group Internet Sans Frontières (ISF).

The new law has been denounced, with citizens and advocates using the hashtag #Taxepamesmo (“Don’t tax my megabytes”) to call on officials to cancel the levy. The increased fees will not only burden the poorest consumers and widen the digital divide, but they will also be “disastrous” for the nation’s nascent digital economy, says ISF’s executive director Julie Owono. A petition against the levy on Change.org has garnered nearly 7,000 signatures since it was created five days ago.

The West African nation joins an increasing number of African countries that have introduced new fees for accessing digital spaces. Last month, Zambia approved a tax on internet calls in order to protect large telcos at the expense of already squeezed citizens. In July, Uganda also introduced a tax for accessing 60 websites and social-media apps, including WhatsApp and Twitter, from mobile phones. Officials in Kampala also increased excise duty fees on mobile-money transactions from 10% to 15%, in a bid to reduce capital flight and improve the country’s tax-to-GDP ratio.

Digital-rights advocates say these measures are part of wider moves to silence critics and the vibrant socio-political, cultural, and economic conversations taking place online. The adoptions of these taxes, they say, could have a costly impact not just on democracy and social cohesion, but on economic growth, innovation, and net neutrality. Paradigm Initiative, a Nigerian company that works to advance digital rights, has said it was worried Nigeria would follow Uganda’s and Zambia’s footsteps and start levying over-the-top media services like Facebook and Telegram that deliver content on the internet.

But taxing the digital sector might have a negative impact in the long run. Research has already shown that Uganda’s ad hoc fees could cost its economy $750 million in revenue this year alone. “These governments are killing the goose that lays the golden egg,” Owono said.

source: www.qz.com

Nigeria – the Federal Government to achieve growth with digital economy

NigeriaNigeria.

The Federal Government has announced plans to achieve an all-inclusive economy by prioritising developmental efforts in the digital economy.

Minister of Communication Adebayo Shittu said in Lagos at the weekend that the move by the Federal Government was to ensure that Nigerians had equal access to government services by using digitalisation.

He said plans were on to establish a Nigeria Postal Services (NIPOST) banking, real estate and insurance company to get Nigerians into a financial inclusive economy.

Shittu, who spoke at a stakeholders’ conference on digital addressing system and address verification system, organised by NIPOST, said: ”We are looking at establishing a NIPOST property and development company to make use of NIPOST underutilised facilities wasting away. It is our plan as part of the general reform to ensure that most of the vacant and unused land are leased out to the public to establish property development. Some of the land will be available to build estates, event centres, garages and others to earn revenue for the Federal Government.”

He said in two years, NIPOST would be the leading Federal Government agency in terms of its influence on the life of every Nigerian, adding that courtesy of its upgraded processes, it would help in bringing in the largest amount of money into the Federal Government’s coffers.

”There are communities, which are about 200 to 300 kilometres away from the state capital. With the help of these offices, people can access government services from their communities. By the time we conclude in establishing these companies, there will be no one who will not be affected positively by NIPOST multifaceted companies,” the minister said.

source: http://thenationonlineng.net

Federal Government is committed to the digital economy (Nigeria)

NigeriaThe Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, has said that the Federal Government is committed to the digital economy to bridge the gap between Nigeria and the rest of the world in Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

Shittu said this on Wednesday in Lagos during the 2018 Information Communication Technology and Telecommunication Expo (ICTEL EXPO).

The ICTEL EXPO themed: “Developing Efficiency and Competitiveness in the Digital Age” was organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).

Represented by Mrs Monisola Udoh, Director of ICT, Shittu said the ministry would support the establishment of companies in the areas of hardware and software.

“We will assist them to grow. We have accepted that Nigeria must take the leadership role in Africa’s ICT ecosystem.

“Therefore, we are amenable to PPP relationships to drive the ministry’s projects, 2018 and beyond must be a year of action,” he said.

According to the minister, the ministry would establish a National ICT Park and Exhibition Centre in Abuja and other parts of the country, and proposed the establishment of National ICT Bank and full implementation of National Broadband Plan.

He said the ICT Roadmap 2017 to 2020 and the eGovernment Masterplan would be implemented to ensure efficiency and competitiveness in the 21st century.

He also said the ministry would collaborate with LCCI to create a platform through ICTEL EXPO, where organisations and startups could pitch their innovative ideas.

“These ideas will be passed through a structured selection process to come up with marketable innovations for implementation by the Federal Government,” he said.

The minister said the ministry was making concerted efforts to ensure the development of ICT in the country as part f the envisaged fourth industrial revolution.

He added that the government would give top priority to the industry to achieve a vibrant telecoms and ICT sector that would expand the country’s national production frontier across all sectors of the economy.

source: www.concisenews.global