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Nigerian Government withdraws $2bn revenue suit against MTN

* Telco pledges to conduct business according to laws, fiscal responsibilities

Isola Moses

MTN Nigeria Communications Plc Friday, January 10, said the Federal Government had withdrawn the suit over alleged revenue indebtedness of N242.24billion and $1.28 billion.

The telecom firm, according to an agency report, stated this in a regulatory filing to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), signed by Uto Ukpanah, Company Secretary at MTN.

The company, in a statement, said its legal counsel received a letter from the Attorney- General of the Federation (AGF) Justice Minister, which formally withdrew the government’s demand for the funds.

The statement reads in part: “MTN Nigeria is pleased to report that its legal counsel has received a letter dated January 8, 2020, from the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (the AGF) formally withdrawing the demand for N242,244,452,215.97 and $1.283,610,357.86 alleged revenue indebtedness.”

It said the letter confirmed that the AGF had referred the matter to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) with a view to resolving the contentious issues.

“MTN Nigeria will consequently follow due court process to withdraw its legal action against the AGF and engage with the FIRS and NCS on the issues.

“MTN Nigeria remains committed to conducting its business in accordance with applicable laws in Nigeria,” the statement said.

It further says that Mr. Ferdi Moolman, Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria, is pleased with the decision of the AGF.

“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,” Moolman said.

He further pledged that his company remains “fully committed to meeting our fiscal responsibilities and contributions to the social and economic development of Nigeria.”

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court adjourned the suit filed against Nigeria by MTN over the disputed claims of tax evasion to January 30 and 31.

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