AGF withdraws from $2bn tax dispute case against MTN
NEWS DIGEST – Mobile giant MTN said Friday that Nigeria’s attorney general had withdrawn a demand for around $2 billion in back taxes in the latest step towards resolving its legal woes with the authorities.
The South African telecommunications firm has already battled back a string of financial claims from Nigeria and last May floated its shares on the stock exchange in the West African country.
The company said that the attorney general’s office had “withdrawn its letter of demand” for the back taxes and referred the matter to the inland revenue and customs services to be resolved.
“We appreciate this decision of the Attorney General which paves the way to an orderly and amicable resolution of this matter,” MTN Group CEO Rob Shuter said in a statement.
MTN, which began operation in Nigeria in 2001, is the country’s largest operator with some 60 million subscribers.
The company last year settled a $1.5 billion fine levelled by the authorities for failing to disconnect unregistered subscribers.
In 2018 it agreed to pay a separate $53 million fine after being accused of illegally repatriating $8.13 billion to South Africa.
The disputes with MTN have rattled investor confidence in Africa’s most populous nation and tarnished diplomatic relations between continental powerhouses Nigeria and South Africa.