" ITREALMS: ALTON, NCC advised MTN to pay disputed taxes, seek legal redress - ITREALMS

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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

ALTON, NCC advised MTN to pay disputed taxes, seek legal redress - ITREALMS

The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) have advised the MTN Nigeria Communications Limited, to pay the revised N50,000,000 (Fifty million naira) Social Services Contribution Levy (SSCL) to the Kogi State revenue agency and seek legal redress in court afterwards, reports ITREALMS.

This, ITREALMS is in a bid to resolve the current impasse between MTN and the Kogi State Government over disputed taxes, which led to the shutdown of MTN base stations across the state.

Disclosing this, ALTON chairman, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo told ITREALMS in Lagos, urging both parties to prioritize national interest and always explore dialogue or seek legal resolution of contentious matters.

He stressed that NCC had similarly advised MTN to pay the revised sum and seek legal redress.

In a press statement also made available to ITREALMS, ALTON recalled that Kogi State Internal Revenue Service (KGIRS) had sealed MTN sites in the state capital and other locations on Tuesday last week over claims that MTN has refused to pay the N120,000,000 Social Services Contribution Levy (SSCL) due to the state in 2017 and 2018. The state government further reviewed the total figure down to N50million during the course of discussions with MTN.

On the other hand, MTN repeatedly claimed that the levy was illegal because it was arbitrarily fixed by the State Government even though the powers to determine such rates reside with the Hon. Minister of Finance, as contained in the Taxes and Levies Act.

ALTON Chairman further called on both parties to remain law abiding and thread with caution in the interest to security and socio-political stability of the country.

“We would like to remind all stakeholders that telecommunications facilities play very important roles in security and economy, hence their classification as, Critical National Infrastructure (CNI).

“As the general elections approach the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will rely on telecommunications facilities of all GSM Operators to transmit election results across the country for collation. The nation cannot afford to have running disputes between telecommunications operators and state governments.

“ALTON is glad that MTN and other operators are up to date on all other undisputed taxes and levies due to State Governments. We therefore advise our members to continue to remain law abiding as they have been.

“We commend the Kogi State Government for agreeing to hold further dialogue in a bid to resolve this issue. We humbly advise State Governments across the country to work closely with telecommunications operators and build strong partnerships for the mutual benefit of all stakeholders,” he submitted.

Chuks Egbune/DoP

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