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MTN Nigeria appeals $72.5m tax tribunal fine



MTN Nigeria Communications Plc has appealed the decision of the tax appeal tribunal (TAT) over the payment of $72.5 million fine to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

The telecommunications company made this known in a statement signed by Uto Ukpanah, MTN’s company secretary.

Recently, a TAT in Lagos ordered the telecom giant to pay $72,551,059 in tax default to FIRS.

A five-member panel of the tribunal led by A. B. Hamed gave the order while delivering judgment in an appeal marked TAT/LZ/VAT/075, filed by MTN Nigeria.

The tribunal had raised five issues for determination.

However, in its verdict, the first four issues were resolved in favour of the FIRS, while issue five was resolved in favour of MTN.

The tribunal, thereby, ordered MTN to pay the $72,551,059 principal sum.

The tribunal also absolved MTN from paying the sum of $21,039,807 as penalties and interest on the principal sum.

Reacting to the judgement on Monday, MTN Nigeria said it has “resolved to appeal the decision of the tribunal”.

The telecom giant, therefore, assured the Nigerian Exchange Limited and the investing public of its commitment “to meeting our tax obligations.”

The dispute between MTN Nigeria and the FIRS dates back to 2018, when the office of the attorney-general of the federation (OAGF) issued a report alleging that the company had underpaid taxes on its import duty and value-added tax (VAT).

The OAGF’s report was based on an investigation into the firm’s Forms A and M transactions between 2007 and 2017.

In 2018, according to the statement, the OAGF demanded approximately $2 billion in tax arrears from MTN Nigeria.

“In 2020, the AGF withdrew from the case and transferred the Form A-related transactions valued at $1.3 billion to the FIRS and the balance to the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) to resolve the contentious issues,” the statement reads.

“After a series of engagements, the FIRS issued an initial assessment of $93.6 million comprising $72.6 million as principal liability and $21 million for penalties and interest on the principal amount.

“Following an objection by MTN Nigeria and further engagements, the FIRS issued a revised total assessment of $135.7 million, representing a principal tax liability of $47,8 million and interest and penalty of $87.9 million.

“MTN Nigeria filed an appeal at the TAT.”

The transactions in question primarily involve the alleged VAT payable on offshore training services provided to employees of the company, transponder services provided by a non-resident company, and software licensing and upgrades.


5 tips to celebrate a low-budget Christmas




December is here again, but things are three times more expensive than they used to be, if you squander your money in December, January is going to be a long month for you.

There are ways to have fun and still not overspend and here are some ways to make that effective;

One of the easiest ways to avoid overspending during the holiday season is to eat before heading out. Going out on an empty stomach can lead to impulse spending on food and drinks.

By ensuring you’re well-fed before leaving home, you can focus on enjoying the company of friends and family without succumbing to the temptation of unnecessary expenses.

Sharing the holiday spirit is not only joyful but can also be cost-effective. Going out in groups allows you to split bills and transportation costs.

Coordinate with friends or family members to plan group outings, ensuring everyone contributes something. This way, the financial burden is distributed, making it a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Transportation expenses can quickly add up during the holiday season. Instead of venturing too far from home for entertainment, explore local options within your neighborhood.

Whether it’s a community event, a local park, or a neighbor’s holiday gathering, staying close to home can save you money on transportation and make December a month that doesn’t empty your savings.

The allure of Christmas giveaways and promotions can be tempting, but it’s essential to separate wants from needs.

Before making a purchase, ask yourself if the item is genuinely necessary. If it’s something you won’t use or need in January and beyond, resist the urge to buy, even if it’s on sale. A discount is not a justification for unnecessary spending.

The holiday season often comes with invitations to various events and shows. While it’s natural to want to participate in everything, it’s crucial to prioritize your budget.

If you don’t have the financial means to attend certain shows or events, learn to say no.

Be unapologetic about setting boundaries that align with your budgetary constraints. Your financial well-being in January will thank you for it.

Celebrating Christmas on a budget doesn’t mean sacrificing joy and merriment. By adopting these practical tips, you can navigate the holiday season without overspending, ensuring that January doesn’t become a financially challenging month.

Embrace the true spirit of the season by focusing on meaningful experiences and cherished moments with loved ones.

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NNPC signs two gas deals at COP28




NNPC Limited says it has signed two gas deals at COP28. The deal covers a floating liquefied natural gas deal and a small-scale LNG deal at the ongoing COP28 in Dubai.

According to the company, the deal is both for Domestic, and International Markets.

There is an Agreement on 421 Tonnes Per Day Small-Scale LNG Project in Ajaokuta and MoU on Floating LNG.

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Nigeria and Kuwait sign agreement for commencement of direct flights




Festus Keyamo, minister of aviation and aerospace development, says the country has signed a bilateral air services agreement (BASA) with Kuwait.

BASA is an air transport agreement between two countries that allows designated airlines to operate commercial flights, covering transportation of passengers and cargoes.

The minister, in a post on Tuesday on ‘X’, said the agreement was signed at the ongoing international civil aviation negotiation (ICAN) event organised by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

He said the agreement would facilitate the commencement of direct flights (passengers and cargo) between both countries.

“Earlier today, at the ongoing International Civil Aviation Negotiation (ICAN) event of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) holding in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, I signed the legal Instrument of Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) on behalf of Nigeria with the State of Kuwait, for the commencement of direct flights (passengers and cargo) between both countries,” he said.

“This will boost trade, tourism and economic relations between both countries.

“My team and I will continue the negotiations of different routes with different countries that are present here for this annual event of ICAO till later in the week.”

On September 7, 2023, the federal executive council (FEC) approved the signing of the agreement between both countries.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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