The Kogi State Internal Revenue Service (KGIRS) has shutdown the facilities of telecommunications giant, MTN Nigeria again, for alleged failure to pay tax obligations to the tune of N120 million to the government.
The Kogi revenue agency had in October last year sealed MTN facilities and base stations across the state following an order of the state High Court which gave it the go ahead to dis-train the services of the telecom provider.
The Director of Legal Services and Enforcement for the KGIRS, Barrister Jamil Isah, led his team to seal the facilities of the telecom service provider on Mount Patti, at Obajana and other places in Lokoja today, stating that MTN had been very uncooperative in meeting its tax obligations.
He explained that following the intervention of the state governor and the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), the dis-train order carried out against MTN was relaxed to give room for negotiation and resolution of the impasse.
Jamil however said that the MTN failed to utilise the opportunity but rather took the agency for granted by offering to pay only N250,000 as its final settlement out of the N120 million tax obligations owed the state.
“MTN did not take any steps to redeem its tax obligations, despite court orders, and has failed to make payment. The governor heeded the intervention of the National Communication Commission (NCC), when they came, and ordered the opening of the sealed MTN sites, to allow for negotiations. Since then, MTN has engaged in various means, to subvert the order of the court. We were surprised to see the query of the NCC, to question the distraining order of the High Court.
“When MTN decided to default in respect of the liability of N120 million and offered us a cheque of N250,000 which is manifestation of the resolve of MTN to disregard the laws of Kogi State, and to use other government agencies to subvert court orders. This informed our decision to continue our distraining order, and we will be there on ground to enforce it,” he said.
Meanwhile, MTN services in Lokoja and other parts of the state have crashed following the shutting down of the telecommunication facilities.
According to reports, many MTN customers have filled up the popular “GSM village” in Lokoja to subscribe to other service providers following a total black out of MTN services.
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