MTN Nigeria Communications Plc has denied being indebted to the Federal Government of Nigeria in respect of outstanding taxes.
In a statement signed by the company’s secretary, Uto Ukpanah, and made available on the website of the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), the telecommunications giants noted that it had furnished tax authorities with evidences to demonstrate full compliance with all extant and regulatory obligations. The teleco giant further reiterated its commitments to abiding by applicable laws and contributing to the social and economic development of Nigeria.
Recall that the office of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) had allegedly accused MTN Nigeria Plc of owing taxes from 2007 to 2017. Consequently, a $2billion tax demand was instituted against the firm. However, after two years of allegation, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami on January 8, 2020, withdrew the $2 billion tax demand and transferred the matter to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) for resolution.
Commenting on the recent development, the telecommunications firm in the press release said: ‘’MTN Nigeria Communications Plc (MTN Nigeria or the Company) wishes to clarify erroneous reports in the media alleging the company is indebted to the Federal Government of Nigeria in respect of outstanding taxes.
‘’It may be recalled that in a letter dated 8 January 2020, the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (OAGF) officially transferred the matter of MTN Nigeria’s alleged indebtedness to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) for resolution.
‘’As with previous request of a similar nature, MTN Nigeria has been happy to cooperate with the authorities, providing evidence to demonstrate full compliance with all extant tax and regulatory obligations and discussions are on-going in this regard.
‘’As recently as last year, the tax authorities commended MTN Nigeria for its prompt payment of dues. In addition, when asked earlier this year, the Company agreed to make advance tax payments ahead of established deadlines to support Government’s revenue drive. This was also the case in 2020, when in response to FIRS appeal to support Government MTN Nigeria made an early payment of its 2019 Companies Income Tax (CIT) of N46.9 billion. The Company did the same this year, between March 2021 and June 2021; making early payments of N95.5 billion for the 2020 CIT, which was due on 30 June 2021.’’