Thursday, February 22, 2024

Nigeria withdraws $2bn tax case against MTN

Nigeria’s attorney general has withdrawn a $2 billion tax demand against South African telecoms giant MTN Group, a closely watched case that critics said damaged Nigeria’s appeal to foreign investors.

In a letter filed with the Nigerian stock exchange, MTN said the government had decided to drop its case and refer the issue to tax and customs authorities “with a view to resolving contentious issues.”

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“We are very pleased with the decision of the (attorney general) and we commend him for his wisdom,” MTN Nigeria’s Chief Executive Ferdi Moolman said in a statement.

Shares in MTN Group rose by more than 4% after the announcement. Nigeria is its biggest market, with roughly 60 million users.

Attorney General Abubakar Malami had ruled that the firm owed taxes relating to the import of equipment and payments to foreign suppliers from 2007 to 2017. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

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MTN, whose local unit listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange last year, has said it would sell more shares to the public and increase local ownership once the tax row is resolved.

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Signature TV is a multi-media company, owners and operators of signaturetv.org and producers of The Signature Show on AIT and Corruption Tori. Our programmes are broadcast on the AIT Network and on Seven NTA stations across the country. We are content providers for a number of television networks and some State TV stations, with a respected 24/7, high online and offline followership. We are also Communications/Media Consultants to MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation and OSIWA.

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