Nigeria’s Attorney General has withdrawn a tax claim of USD 2 billion against MTN and referred the matter to more relevant authorities. MTN Nigeria said that its legal council had received a letter dated 08 January stating that after careful review and due consultation with relevant statutory agencies, the Attorney General had decided to refer the matter to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Nigeria Customs (NC), with a view to them resolving the issues.
Accordingly, the Attorney General has withdrawn its letter of demand for the aforementioned USD 2 billion issued in August 2018. MTN Nigeria says it will follow due court process to withdraw its legal action against the AGF and engage with FIRS and NC on this issue. MTN said it remains committed to building and maintaining cordial relationships with all regulatory authorities in Nigeria.
On September 4, 2018, MTN announced that MTN Nigeria was disputing a claim for back taxes of approximately US$ 2 billion by the Attorney General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Minister of Justice (AGF). At the time of the claim, the Nigerian central bank said that MTN and others “flagrantly violated foreign exchange violations” in taking cash out of the country over eight years to 2015.
The Attorney General made a calculation that MTN Nigeria should have paid approximately US$ 2 billion in taxes relating to the importation of foreign equipment and payments to foreign suppliers over the prior ten years.