The Nigerian Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has engaged some commercial banks as agents to freeze and recover N1.8 trillion or R63 billion from accounts of MultiChoice Nigeria Limited And MultiChoice Africa. The companies are owned by South African-based MultiChoice Group.
The Nigerian Premium Times reported that the FIRS explained that the decision to appoint the banks as agents and to freeze the accounts was as a result of the groups’ continued refusal to grant FIRS access to their servers for audit.
The publication said FIRS further noted that the level of non-compliance by Multi-Choice Africa (MCA), the parent Company MCN was very alarming adding that the parent company, which provided services to MCN had never paid Value Added Tax (VAT) since its inception.
“The issue with Tax collection in Nigeria, especially from foreign-based Companies conducting businesses in Nigeria and making massive profits is frustrating and infuriating to the FIRS.
“Regrettably, Companies come into Nigeria just to infringe on our tax laws by indulging in tax evasion. There is no doubt that broadcasting, telecommunications and the cable-satellite industries have changed the face of communication in Nigeria.”
MultiChoice Group said in a statement to investors on the JSE that its operations are continuing in Nigeria.
“We have not received formal notification of this matter, however, shareholders are advised that the Group is aware of reports in the media regarding an ongoing tax matter with the Nigerian Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS),” the company said.
“The matter is apparently based on unfounded allegations that MultiChoice Nigeria have not fully disclosed all existing subscribers to authorities.
“We have engaged openly with FIRS and the engagements are ongoing in a transparent and constructive manner. We believe that this matter will be amicably resolved.”