The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, directed Nigerians to approach the Federal Inland Revenue for clarification after it was discovered that Telecoms companies charge 7.5 percent of Value Added Tax (VAT) on voice calls and text messages.

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The Minister claimed that this call had become necessary following further inquiries by Telecoms subscribers in his office concerning the deduction of 7.5 percent of VAT by certain mobile network operators.

The spokesperson for the Minister, Mrs. Uwa Suleiman, in a statement issued on Thursday, confirmed that VAT problems do not fall within the competence of the Ministry.

The statement said, “The Office of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), has been overwhelmed with concerns and inquiries about the latest 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”.