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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) aimed at ensuring that the tax agency ascertain the accuracy and completeness of Value Added Tax (VAT) elements and other taxes payable in the transactions of telecom operators.

The MOU empowers the FIRS to harmonise an Application Programming Interface (API) technology solution with the systems of telecom operators for independent verification of the amount of VAT payable by mobile network operators instead of depending on the operators’ book of accounts.

Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, said at the signing ceremony in Abuja on Tuesday that diligence and due process were employed in completing the MOU.

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“Our concern, as regulator of the telecom industry, is that we needed to be sure that it is not another way to tax telecom’s operators, who are already dealing with multiple taxation issues. We have also ensured that the integration of the solutions with telcos’ transaction systems will not, in any way, impact the cost and quality of service delivery by the operators to telecom’s consumers,” he said.

Danbatta assured consumers and stakeholders that the integration of FIRS solution with the operators’ systems would not diminish the quality of service delivery or trigger a high cost of service to consumers.

The Executive Chairman of the FIRS, Muhammad Nami, applauded the NCC for accepting to collaborate with the tax agency, saying the MOU was intended to ascertain the completeness of tax transactions of mobile service providers to the Nigerian government as a result of the change of physical businesses to electronic-based business activities.

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