Thursday, December 8, 2022

Reps Summon Trade Ministry Officials Over MTN N2.6trn Tax Evasion

The House of Representatives yesterday said it must get to the root of the N2.6 trillion capital allowances granted to MTN by the Federal Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Chairman of the House Public Accounts Committee, Hon. Wole Oke, who disclosed this yesterday, said that the report from the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAuGF) indicated that the documents relating to the allowances were allegedly forged.

Oke explained that the OAuGF in its report observed that Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) accorded value to the telecoms’ company while in some cases without certificates and evidence of capital allowance issued by the Federal Ministry of Trade and Industry reflecting the whole assets procured by the company. He said: “We have issues in this country where funds are not adequate for the government to carry out policies and programs which is why we had to borrow even though there are massive revenue leakages.

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“MTN has also made appearances where N2.6 trillion was seen as the taxable value for assets of the company and we asked as to where they exist and who verified them because they had already claimed value for them with the FIRS.” In her response, MTN’s General Manager, Mrs. Yemisi Adeleye explained that the company has submitted all relevant documents issued by the Federal Ministry of Trade and Industry reflecting the value of N2.6 trillion given to MTN.

Giving details on the claims made by the company for capital allowance, she disclosed that the sum of N18,967,410,769 was claimed in 2016. According to her, in 2017 a logbook was brought back reading Abuja switch with Mr. Ike and three others as inspection team members. The committee chairman insisted that all the officials involved in the inspection from the Federal Ministry of Trade and Industry should be made to appear before it.

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