“Don’t drag us into MTN issue” – FIRS, Customs

Officials of the tax regulation agency declined to comment on the allegation that MTN owes $2bn tax.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have indicated that they would rather not get involved in the Federal Government’s current battle with MTN Nigeria.

The FG has accused the telecommunications company of owing $2 billion in tax over a 10-year period, but MTN insists it had settled all pending taxes.

Officials of the tax regulation agency were said to have declined to comment on the allegation. ThisDay reports that a top FIRS official said the matter should be handled by the Customs, as it had to do with import duties.

A Customs’ spokesperson, Deputy Comptroller Joseph Attah, however, also insisted that the NCS had no business with the matter.

“Pay your duty and get cleared,” the publication quotes Attah as saying.

The Central Bank of Nigeria claims MTN illegally repatriated over $8 billion, based on “illegally issued” CCIs by four banks. MTN, which has been directed to immediately refund the money, has, however, denied any wrongdoing.

Stanbic IBTC, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria, Citibank and Diamond Bank were fined N1,885,852,847.45, N2,470,604,767.13, N1,265,541,562.31, and N250 million respectively.

The Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Bismarck Rewane said on Thursday that there is no clarity on where exactly CBN’s issues with MTN and the banks stem from.

CBN has gone ahead to debit the accounts of the respective banks.

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Dash is an author at www.gistus.com.

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