Alleged VAT default: Lawmakers probe FIRS, NCC

Alleged VAT default: Lawmakers probe FIRS, NCC

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The House of Representatives is set to probe the managements of the Federal Inland Revenue Service and Nigeria Communications Commission, as well as some telecommunication firms, over failure to remit five per cent Value Added Tax on recharge cards, to the Federal Government.
The Chairman of the House’ ad-hoc Committee on Telecommunication Equipment and Service Companies, Hon. Ahmed Abu, disclosed that the providers ought to be remitting the taxes to the Federal Government.
He said it was regrettable that the FIRS and NCC appeared not to possess the facilities for verifying the accurate VAT required from the telecom firms.
He added that the Central Bank of Nigeria, Standards Organisation of Nigeria, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, National Office for Technology Acquisition Programme, and National Information Technology Development Agency are also expected to appear before the committee.
“We are concerned with the investigation of five per cent VAT that telecom firms ought to be paying to the Federal Government. “Is it being paid? To what extent? Who’s auditing their accounts? How many calls are being made? How much data are Nigerians using? How much data have bloggers been using and how much VAT have they been paying out of the data they are using?” Abu queried.
At the last sitting, the committee said a number of representatives from the various government organs and telecom services, who turned up for their desk heads, lacked the requisite information needed to comment satisfactorily on the matter, hence were turned back by the committee.
“This is unacceptable to us. It amounts to undermining the powers of the parliament for chief executives to personally fail to honour our invitations. We are not out to witch-hunt any of them, but to hear from them and see how their inputs can help us strengthen existing laws,” he added.

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