The military authorities, grappling with economic challenges due to the ECOWAS embargo and sanctions following the ‘coup d’état’, are making concerted efforts to keep the country financially afloat and avert bankruptcy. In pursuit of this goal, the junta has recently reinstated the tax on international calls, previously suspended in 2022. Going forward, all incoming international calls will be subject to taxation under a decree signed by the junta. This tax, known as the “tax on incoming international traffic termination,” has been reinstated, citing the impact of ECOWAS sanctions on Niger’s economy.
While the exact amount to be levied on each call has not been specified, it is anticipated that this measure could generate nearly twenty billion CFA francs annually for the benefit of the public treasury.
In 2022, mobile telecommunications companies contested this tax. It remains unclear whether they were consulted or involved in the junta’s recent decision.
Context of Ongoing Sanctions
To improve the country’s finances amid regional institutional embargoes, the junta had previously imposed a levy of 10 CFA francs on every mobile phone card recharge. In a similar vein, the government has announced the adoption of a budget exceeding 2,653 billion CFA francs from domestic resources, against the backdrop of the continued economic sanctions imposed by ECOWAS.
Several measures are in the pipeline to stimulate the national economy, as the junta navigates through challenging economic conditions and strives to mitigate the impact of the ongoing sanctions.