Telecom giant, MTN Nigeria, has expressed concern over the shutdown of its base transmitting facilities by the Kogi State Internal Revenue Service (KGIRS), over allegations of not meeting its tax obligations to the government.
The state government is demanding for immediate payment of Social Service Contribution levy, Employee Development (SSCED) levy and annual rent for Right-of-Way on fibre optics cable.
The Kogi government shutdown MTN facilities on Thursday over alleged non-payment of taxes and levies.
Many MTN subscribers in Lokoja, the Kogi state capital, had to make emergency arrangements for alternative networks to stay online.
According to Tobechukwu Okigbo, MTN’s Corporate Relations Executive, the Taxes and Levies Act which introduces the SSCED levies mandates the Joint Tax Board to recommend chargeable fees which will be subject to the Minister of Finance’s approval.
“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.
“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,” he said.
He said: “On request, we have furnished the KGIRS on multiple occasions with documentary evidence proving our full compliance with extant state laws on the matter. At this stage, the demands of the KGIRS, if honoured, amounts to multiple taxation and the arbitrary shut down of our base transceiver stations and harassment of our partners will stand in the way of a reasonable resolution.”
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.