FG withdraws $2bn tax claim against MTN

MTN Nigeria yesterday disclosed its legal counsel has received a letter dated  January 8, 2020 from the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (AGF) formally withdrawing his demand for N242,244,452,215.97 and USD$1, 283,610,357.86 alleged revenue indebtedness.

According to the company in a press statement sent to Saturday Sun and signed by Uto Ukpanah, MTN Company Secretary , the letter confirmed that following careful review and due consultation with relevant statutory agencies, the AGF has decided to refer the matter to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) with a view to resolving contentious issues. MTN consequently said it will follow due court process to withdraw its legal action against the AGF and engage with the FIRS and NCS on the issues adding that MTN  remains committed to conducting its business in accordance with applicable laws in Nigeria.

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Expressing satisfaction at the development, MTN Nigeria CEO, Ferdi Moolman said “we are very pleased with the decision of the AGF and we commend him for his wisdom. We maintain our dedication to building and maintaining cordial relationships with all regulatory authorities in Nigeria and remain fully committed to meeting our fiscal responsibilities and contributing to the social and economic development of Nigeria.”

Recall that, the Attorney General Abubakar Malami had alleged that MTN owed taxes relating to the import of equipment and payments to foreign suppliers from 2007 to 2017.

MTN, which began operation in Nigeria in 2001, is the country’s largest operator with some 60 million subscribers.

The company last year settled a $1.5 billion fine levelled by the NCC for failing to disconnect unregistered subscribers.

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