The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to ensure the tax agency ascertain accuracy and completeness of value added tax (VAT) elements and other taxes payable in the transactions of telecom’s operators.

With the MoU, the FIRS will be able to integrate an application programming interface (API) technology solution with the systems of telecom operators for independent verification of the amount of VAT that should be paid by mobile network operators (MNO) rather than relying entirely on the operators’ books of accounts.

Speaking during the MoU signing ceremony in Abuja on Tuesday, the executive vice chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta said diligence and appropriate due processes were undertaken  to conclude the MoU, as the commission took time to understand the import of the MoU.

“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, therefore, assured telecom’s consumers and stakeholders that the integration of FIRS solution with the operators’ systems is entirely to ascertain the accuracy of the VAT elements being paid by the operators on their transactions and it would not, in any way, degrade the quality of service delivery or lead to high cost of service to the consumers.

In his comments, the executive chairman and chief executive officer, FIRS, Muhammad Nami, who thanked the NCC for accepting to collaborate with the tax agency, said the MoU was mainly to ascertain completeness of tax transactions of mobile service providers to the Federal Government of Nigeria due to the shift of physical businesses to electronic-based business activities.

The NCC’s director of public affairs, Dr Henry Nkemadu recalled the FIRS boss said the API, which was developed in-house, is transaction-based and all it is trying to do is to ensure they have the basis for determining the completeness and accuracy of VAT elements in telecom’s transactions.


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