Ondo State Govt. Shuts Down MTN Facilities Over N458m Unpaid Taxes
In spite of MTN Nigeria denial of owing Ondo state government about N458 million in taxes and levies, the state has shut down its facilities thus leading to poor quality of service (QoS) to telecom subscribers.
MTN states that the closure of its facilities by the state government will negatively impact the quality of service in the state and environs and affect millions of subscribers. Some of the services that will be impacted are voice and data services, voice traffic across other operators and international traffic.
Others are enterprise data service to third-party clients (mostly banks and other corporate clients), which may in turn impact services such as ATMs, POS and others. This will lead to poor or total loss of network coverage for all MTN subscribers in Ondo.
MTN said the sealing of facilities means that service providers will not be able to carry out routine maintenance work or refuel the generators servicing the base transceiver stations (BTS’). In addition, a major hub site for both fibre and microwave transmission which connects the North, South and East will be affected leading to loss of services in the whole of Ekiti State as well as parts of Edo and Niger States.
MTN corporate services executive, Amina Oyagbola said that since December 23, 2015, the eve of the national public holidays leading to the Eid El Maulud and Christmas celebrations, officials of the Ondo State government had proceeded to seal MTN’s BTS’ and other facilities in the state.
The closure followed an Ex-Parte court order taken against MTN regarding a tax claim of N458,585,783.12 allegedly owed the Ondo State Board of Internal Revenue Service (OSBIRS) in Pay As You Earn (PAYE); Withholding Tax (WHT); Development levy, Business Premises and Education Endowment taxes.
Oyagbola said MTN has fulfilled all its statutory obligations with respect to PAYE, withholding tax and development levy, amongst others, contrary to OSBIRS’ claim. “MTN has also provided all the relevant assistance through direct engagement, meetings and production of documentation (including third party contracts) which were availed to the Internal Revenue Board and its consultants.