Telecommunications giant MTN Nigeria has opened talks with the Kogi State Internal Revenue Service (KGIRS), following the shut down of its base facilities.
In a statement by Tobechukwu Okigbo, MTN’s Corporate Relations Executive, the telco, however, maintained it had paid all necessary taxes.
As a responsible corporate citizen, we accord the highest priority to our sub-national tax commitments. We wish to state that we have met in full all our tax obligations to the Kogi State government and are not in arrears.
News broke yesterday, that the Kogi State government had sealed the company’s facilities following non-payment of N120 million tax.
Barrister Jamil Isah, the Director, Legal Services and Enforcement of the Kogi State Revenue Service, had stated that the ban was to take place, last year but was suspended to make room for negotiations. MTN, according to him failed to do that.
Why the telco is kicking
The payments being requested by the government, are yet to be approved by the Minister of Finance.
The Kogi state government is demanding for immediate payment of Social Service Contribution levy, Employee Development levy and annual rent for Right-of-Way on fibre optics cable. To the best of our knowledge, the Minister of Finance’s recommendation as provided in the Act is yet to be issued, and as such, it is unclear if the imposition of the fee by the Kogi State Government is on solid legal footing
The way forward
MTN, however, apologized for the outage and stated it was in discussions with the state government.
MTN regrets the disruption of services to its customers in Kogi and some neighbouring states and remains fully committed to working with the Kogi state government and the relevant regulatory authorities in reaching a timely and lasting solution.