October 27, 2020

7.5% VAT on Voice calls & SMS: I’m innocent, Minister tells subscribers

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) has exonerated himself and his Ministry from the recently activated 7.5% Value Added Tax deduction from telecommunication subscribers, stating that the issues of VAT, do not fall under the Ministry’s purview.

In a press statement released by Uwa Suleiman (Mrs), the Spokesperson to the Minister, Pantami said he was neither consulted nor informed before embarking on the implementation of the new tax regime.

The Minister was apparently reacting swathe of complaints and enquiries from mobile communication subscribers concerning the recent 7.5% VAT deductions on voice calls and text messages, by some Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).

The statement reads in parts, “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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