Telcos shun reps’ health, financial audit
Telecommunication companies operating in Nigeria have shunned invitation by the ad hoc of the House of Representatives, investigating the administrative/ operational procedure of the companies and assessing their tax compliance status.
The committee had directed some operators and vendors in the industry to reconcile the over N5 billion quoted in its interim report as taxes payable to the government with its consultants.
However, some telecommunication companies questioned the committee’s legal right to direct them to a third party in the name of consultant after investigations had been concluded.
Some also expressed reservations on why the reconciliation of tax figures should be conducted by a private firm outside the National Assembly complex.
Hon Ahmed Abu, chairman of the committee in a later dated 5th October 2017 directed the telecommunications companies to reconcile figures quoted in the committee’s report with consultants at a location within Abuja on or before Friday 20th October.
Checks revealed that some of the operators and including MTN-Nigeria and Airtel and some vendors disregarded the committee’s directive as they denied allegations of tax evasion amounting to billions of Naira as reflected in the committee’s report.
The companies also refused to visit the consultants, as they described the development as a strange one.
Representatives of one of the operators who spoke to journalists, but does not want his name company mentioned, noted that his company refused to reconcile figures with the consultants as directed by the committee due to scepticism about the legality and appropriateness of the committee’s action.
He also noted that report of the House committee ought to have been ratified by the entire House, and not made available to a consultant to achieve fraudulent aims.
“This is suspicious, we appeared before the ad hoc committee during the investigation, surprisingly, and the committee after concluding its investigation directed us to meets with its consultants outside the National Assembly to reconcile figures.
We do not feel this is right and we don’t want to be accused of trying to manipulate the system. The committee should come-up with its recommendations and we shall be ready to present our position, even in the court of law. We are not in any tax evading business, “he said.
According to the report, telecommunications operators and vendors allegedly short-changed the government by evading taxes which amounted to over N5 billion.
The report reflected that Ericsson is due to pay N1, 056,735, 665.77, HUAWEI N725,889,456.75, Airtel N875, 111,895.50, Glo 1, 243,337,001.34, MTN 943,889,454.61, Nokia, N272, 209, 514.
One of the invitation letters sighted our correspondent reads; “our letter referenced. NASS/HAA/081/09/17, dated 19th September 2017 refers. We attach herewith our interim report with details of how the liability of MTN 943,889,454.61, communicated to you in our letter under reference was arrived at. It is pertinent to restate that the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the House of Representatives await the report of the Ad Hoc committee to enable them take
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