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I can’t stop 7.5% VAT implementation on calls and SMS, Minister tells subscribers

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami has finally reacted to the issue of recent imposed 7.5% VAT on texts, calls and data services by some telecommunications operators, has urged Telco subscribers who wish to know the details of the 7.5 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on voice calls and text messages to approach the Federal Inland Revenue (FIRS) for clarification.

Dr Isa Pantami said that his office is not in the right position to handle VAT issues and he had no prior consultation or awareness about the development. He, however, urged those affected by the 7.5% VAT deduction on calls and texts message to direct their enquiries and clarifications messages to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), is the proper institution for tax matters.

Dr Isa Pantami, The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy

The spokesman to the Minister, Mrs Uwa Suleiman in a statement issued on Thursday, said the issues of VAT does not fall under the purview of the Ministry.

The statement stated, “the office of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) has been inundated with complaints and enquiries concerning the recent 7.5% VAT deductions on voice calls and text messages, by some Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).

“While we appreciate the support and efforts of well-meaning Nigerians who have sought clarifications in a civil manner, we wish to inform the general public that the issues of VAT, do not fall under the Ministry’s purview. The office of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy is not mandated to handle VAT.

“In the same vein, we also wish to notify the general public that contrary to popular opinion in some quarters, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy had no prior consultation or awareness about the development.

“All further enquiries and clarifications may henceforth be directed to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), being the proper institution for tax matters”.

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