The Federal Government has added a new tax on phone calls to fund free healthcare for the Vulnerable groups in Nigeria.
It was gathered that President Buhari last week signed the National Health Insurance Authority Bill 2021, which calls for a telecom tax of the equivalent of a minimum of one kobo per second for phone calls as one of the sources of funds required to finance free healthcare for the vulnerable group in Nigeria.
Taiwo Oyedele the Fiscal Policy Partner and Africa Tax Leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers said;
“S.26 of this new law imposes a telecommunications tax of not less than 1kobo per second on GSM calls. Call rates at about 11kobo per the second translate to a 9 percent tax on GSM calls.
“The tax is one of the sources of money to the Vulnerable Group Fund to subsidize healthcare provision to the group defined to include children under five, pregnant women, the aged, physically and mentally challenged, and the indigent as may be defined from time to time.”
According to the reports, the act provides several options such as an essential health care provision fund to the authority; health insurance levy; telecommunications tax, not less than one kobo per second of GSM calls; money that may be allocated to the Vulnerable Group Fund by the Government; motley that accrues to the Vulnerable Group Fund from investments made by the Council: and grants, donations, gifts, and any other voluntary contributions made to the Vulnerable Group Fund.
Every citizen of Nigeria is expected to acquire health insurance under the new act.