NCC wades into Kogi-MTN dispute

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) will this week meet with Kogi State top officials to resolve the dispute between the Kogi State Government and MTN, which has led to the shutdown of MTN’s base transmitting station (BTS) in the state.

NCC’s Executive Commissioner (Stakeholders Engagement), Mr Sunday Dare, is expected to lead the NCC officials to Lugard House in Lokoja to meet the state officials on the issue.

Meanwhile, MTN Nigeria has expressed dismay over the shutdown of its base transmitting facilities by the Kogi State Internal Revenue Service (KGIRS) over alleged tax default.

Today’s Echo reports that the Kogi State Internal Revenue Service (KGIRS) had last Thursday shutdown MTN Nigeria’s facilities over failure to pay tax obligations to the tune of N120 million to the state government.

But in a statement by the telecommunication giant in Lagos, it said the state government was demanding for immediate payment of Social Service Contribution levy, Employee Development levy and annual rent for Right-of-Way on fibre optics cable.

According to Tobechukwu Okigbo, MTN’s Corporate Relations Executive, the Taxes and Levies Act which introduced the Social Service Contribution and Economic Development 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.

“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 added: “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 taxations and the arbitrary shut down of our base transceiver stations and harassment of our partners will stand in the way of a reasonable resolution.”

 

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