Nigeria Attorney-general Removes $2-billion MTN Tax Demand

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MTN Nigeria is starting off the year with a relatively good news as the attorney-general has withdrawn its letter of demand for the aforementioned $2-billion (R28.5 billion) that was issued in August 2018 tax demand for alleged unpaid duties and taxes between 2007 and 2017, against its subsidiary in Nigeria.

The withdrawal of the case by the Attorney general was in order to refer the matter to the relevant authorities, being the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), and Nigeria customs to engage instead.

“MTN Nigeria has been informed by means of a letter received by its legal counsel, and dated 8 January 2020, that following careful review and due consultation with relevant statutory agencies, the (attorney-general) has decided to refer the matter to the relevant authorities, being the Federal Inland Revenue Service and Nigeria Customs with a view to them resolving the issues,” the group said in a statement to shareholders on Friday.

The allegations were totally refuted by the telco gaint, and followed up with legal actions against the Nigeria’s attorney general. Hearing was scheduled for ending of January 2020. The recent news, however, suggests that will no longer hold.

The news also triggered a rise in the MTN Johannesburg’s share price shortly after it broke. The share was trading more than 6% higher the evening of same day at 4.20pm.

Meanwhile, the sister case of MTN allegedly repatriating $8.1billion funds to South Africa without due process has yet to be finalized.