FG asks MTN to pay $2bn tax arrears

FG asks MTN to pay $2bn tax arrears

The Federal Government has asked MTN Nigeria to pay taxes of $2bn (N700bn), six days after the Central Bank of Nigeria ordered it to repatriate $8.13 billion ‘illegally taken out of the country’.

The telecom company said in a brief statement that the Attorney General’s office gave “notice of an intention to recover the $2 billion from MTN Nigeria.”

But an MTN’s spokesperson Funsho Aina denied any wrongdoing, saying that the company has fully paid all its taxes and was not owing the country any dime in tax.

“Based on the detailed review performed, MTN Nigeria believes it has fully settled all amounts owing under the taxes in question,” Aina said in the statement.

Daily Trust reports that six days ago, the CBN ordered MTN to bring back to Nigeria $8.13 billion ‘illegally repatriated’ to South Africa.

The apex bank also fined four banks – Diamond Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Citi Bank and Standard Chartered Bank – involved in the transfer N5.78bn.

MTN shares tumble

Daily Trust reports that the news of the tax issue sent MTN shares tumbling by as much as 7.5 percent to an almost 10-year low.

It was also the latest challenge to hit MTN since it began operations in Nigeria in 2001.

MTN was fined $5.2 billion in October 2015 by the Nigerian Communications Commission [NCC] for failing to disconnect millions of unregistered SIM cards on its network.

The fine was later reduced to $1.7 billion [N330bn] after a series of negotiations with the Nigerian government.The company has paid N165bn, half of the fine, as at March, 2018, according to the NCC.The NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman Prof Umar Garuba Danbatta said, “I am happy to inform you that our agreement with MTN on how and when to pay the fine has been adhered to. Just last month, March, we received a cheque of N55bn from MTN as part of the fine payment plan. This brings the total fine paid by MTN Nigeria to N165bn, that is, more than half of the fine has been paid so far.“We call it amicable settlement agreement on which basis they will be paying N330bn over a period of three years.’’He said by the terms of the agreement, the money would be made in six tranches over the three year period.Daily Trust reports that the breakdown for the payment according to the agreement made in 2016 was that N30bn would be paid into NCC’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) […]

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