7.5% VAT on voice calls, SMS: Direct your anger to FIRS ― Pantami

…Says he’s not mandated to handle VAT

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The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ibrahim Pantami says the issues of VAT, does not fall under the Ministry’s purview and as such can’t intervene on the complaints by the public on the new tax regime on voice calls and SMS.

The minister in a statement on Thursday signed by his spokesperson, Mrs Uwa Suleiman, stated that his office 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) but regretted that he could not intervene since the issues does not fall under his purview.

Contrary to popular opinion in some quarters, the Minister said he had no prior consultation or awareness about the development and urged that all further enquiries and clarifications may henceforth be directed to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), being the proper institution for tax matters.

The statement reads, “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.”

The Minister however, assured all Nigerians that under his leadership, the interest of all Nigerians will be protected.

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