Home Market Updates Enugu, MTN Nigeria face-off over N464.4m, service shutdown

Enugu, MTN Nigeria face-off over N464.4m, service shutdown

Enugu, MTN Nigeria face-off over N464.4m, service shutdown
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The Enugu State Government and MTN Nigeria are in a major face-off over a N464.4 million dispute tax claims that has triggered shutdown of the mobile phone company’s cell sites in the state.

[blockquote right=”pull-right” cite=”MTN Nigeria“]In making its stance known on the dispute, MTN said that, “the state government’s action is guided by a law which was only enacted in 2012. However, the 129 base stations in question were constructed before the enactment of the extant law. Such retroactive legislation is universally deemed to be unfair and draconian.”[/blockquote]
MTN Nigeria has disputed the tax claim citing that Enugu State Government was invoking “unfair and draconian” laws against the company’s operation in the state.

Services ranging from voice, data, ATM, POS and allied services offered customers in affected parts of Enugu State will be affected by the government action, the mobile phone company has warned.

According to MTN, the State Ministry of Lands and Urban Development also threatened to shut down two MTN sites every day until the demand of N464.4 million as payment of penalties for allegedly building 129 sites without appropriate permits is obeyed by the company.

In making its stance known on the dispute, MTN said that, “the state government’s action is guided by a law which was only enacted in 2012. However, the 129 base stations in question were constructed before the enactment of the extant law. Such retroactive legislation is universally deemed to be unfair and draconian.”

The mobile phone company further said that despite its “concerns over the application of a retroactive law, in February 2014, MTN paid the sum of N85,785,000 being statutory payment for the 129 base stations in question so that there is no disruption to service in the state.”

The mobile phone company said that it consider Enugu State Government’s demand of a further N464 million as penalties owed by MTN under the “vexatious law” as “excessive and illegal.”

The company stressed that the effect of the government action will affect voice and data services in Enugu State and its environs.

MTN Nigeria also alerted residents of Enugu that the shutdown will also lead to poor network quality and possible loss of network coverage for MTN subscribers in the affected areas.

The impact of the shutdown on services will also affect ATMs and POS said MTN, which has resolved to closing the affected cell sites “pending the resolution of the matter.”

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Kayode Oladeinde Technology Journalist at Technology Times. Mobile: +234 (0) 7031526929

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