AGF withdraws alleged revenue indebtedness demands from MTN
• FIRS, NCS Now To Look Into N242b, $1.2b Matter
• Telco To Withdraw Legal Action Filed Against Malami
The office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has withdrawn the demand of N242, 244,452,215.97 and $1,283,610,357.86 alleged revenue indebtedness from MTN Nigeria. MTN said it received a letter dated January 8, this year, from the AGF confirming the development.
The Company Secretary of MTN, Uto Ukpanah, yesterday, in a statement, said the letter confirmed that following careful review and due consultation with relevant statutory agencies, the AGF decided to refer the matter to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) with a view to resolving contentious issues.
Ukpanah said MTN Nigeria would consequently follow due court process to withdraw its legal action against the AGF and engage with the FIRS and the NCS on the issues, adding that MTN Nigeria remains committed to conducting its business in accordance with applicable laws in Nigeria.
While expressing satisfaction at the development, MTN Nigeria’s Chief Executive Officer, 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.”
The AGF’s feud with MTN started in September 10, 2018 when he accused the telecommunications firm of allegedly owing $2billion in tax arrears. The demand, Malami said, was for a 10-year period on import duties, Value Added Tax (VAT) and withholding taxes on foreign imports/payments. But MTN denied any outstanding taxes and sued the Nigerian government at the Federal High Court in Lagos, seeking damages and challenging the powers of the AGF to deal with tax matters.The case was to come up for hearing on January 30 and 31, this year.
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