Nigeria court rules MTN met tax deadline
Publish date: 09 May 2019
Issue Number: 659
Diary: Legalbrief Forensic
MTN met a deadline to respond to a $2bn tax demand from Nigeria’s Attorney-General, a Nigerian judge ruled on Tuesday after state lawyers said the company had failed to do so. A BusinessLIVE report notes that the AG issued the demand in September, but the telecoms giant said the claim was without merit and that the AG exceeded his powers in making the demand. Lawyers representing the company said they responded to the tax bill within the three-month period stipulated under Nigerian law. The judge said MTN had responded in 19 days, and adjourned the case’s next hearing to 26 June. Legalbrief reports that although MTN operates in 20 countries, one-third of its revenues come from Nigeria where it holds about 35% market share.
MTN also moved closer to the planned listing of its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) by formally submitting an application to that effect with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In a statement signed by commission spokesperson Efe Ebelo, it said ‘they have applied for listing by introduction which will enable the company to be listed and allow shareholders sell their shares on the floor of the exchange’. The Guardian reports that MTN, which controls 37% of Nigeria's telecoms market and services 65.6m customers last month completed its conversion from a private company to a public company. The conversion is a legal requirement in preparation for the listing. The report notes that the listing was one of the conditions reached in the resolution of its dispute with the Nigerian Communications Commission over its failure to disconnect unregistered SIM cards.