Minister Explains MTN’s $2b Tax Payment Plan With FIRS

Telecommunications company, MTN, has a payment plan with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to pay the tax remittance of two billion dollars.

Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning said this when she received the Commandant of the National Institute for Security Studies (NISS), Mr Ayodele Adeleke on Friday in Abuja.

According to reports, the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on Jan. 8, 2020, withdrew a two-billion-dollar tax demand against the telecoms company.

This was after two years of allegation from the office of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) that the telecom company owed taxes from 2007 to 2017.

Evidence, however, showed that MTN had consistently paid its taxes to the Nigerian government.

The company also announced it responded to the federal government’s call for public-private partnerships as part of its tax remittance in August.

The partnership included the rehabilitation of critical road infrastructure in Nigeria which involves the reconstruction of the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway.

The minister, however, confirmed this.

“MTN is owing the government but there has been a payment plan undertaken with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) they are following.

“They are in Nigeria and have investments all over the country and are following through with the payment commitment made with the FIRS,” she said.

Also, commenting on the increase in Nigeria’s Growth Domestic Product (GDP) to 5.01 percent in the second quarter of 2021, Ahmed described it as the country’s path to recovery.

“The most recent GDP data which reports real GDP growth of 5.01 percent in the second quarter of 2021 is very encouraging news as it indicates the Nigerian economy is on a solid path to recovery.


“It is important to note that much of the growth was driven by the expansion of the non-oil sector of the economy where most Nigerians are employed.”

She, however, added that the rise in some commodities signified a problem of higher demand than supply and assured that the government would look into the matter.

Speaking on security, she noted that the constraints imposed by insecurity and misgovernance on sustainable development were multifaceted.

She emphasised that the challenge of security would require an ‘all-hands-on-deck approach.

“The Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning plays a critical role in ensuring the funding requirements for the various MDAs involved in achieving this objective, including the security agencies, are met in a timely and predictable fashion.

“However, at the ministry, we envision our role as extending beyond facilitation to actively engaging in the design and delivery of initiatives which directly contribute to building the superstructure of good governance and security in Nigeria, all within the mandate of our ministry and its agencies.

“We recognise there is still much to be done and will continue to work closely with all the relevant stakeholders in Nigeria, including the officers of the Executive Intelligence Management Course 14, who are representatives of our brave and valiant security forces, to make Nigeria a safe and secure environment conducive to sustainable development.”

Earlier, the commandant of NISS requested assistance for their institution to move to its permanent site to enable a better learning environment for its increasing number of local and international participants.

There are 66 participants in the Executive Intelligence Management Course (EIMC) from 24 agencies, including four international participants from Ghana, The Gambia and Liberia.

The international participants are on pro bono to enhance collaboration with other regional agencies. nan.

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