MTN Tax Dispute: AGF transfers case to FIRS, Customs
The Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN has transferred the continuation of resolving MTN dispute with the Federal Government to the Federal Inland Revenue Service and
Nigerian Custom Service.
This is contained in a statement issued and made available to the Press and Public Relations Unit by the Special Assistant to the Minister on Media and Public Relations, Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, on Friday 10th January, 2020.
According to the statement, the Minister made the development known in a letter dated 8th January, 2020 addressed to MTN’s Counsel; Messrs Wole Olanipekun & Co.
The letter reads in part: “having carefully and painstakingly reviewed the correspondence reference and following due consultation with relevant statutory agencies, the Office of the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has decided to refer the matter under reference to Federal Inland Revenue Services and Nigeria Custom Services with a view to resolving contentious issues”.
The letter further added that “you may wish to be informed and be guided for time being, pending the outcome of the interrogation of the relevant statutory agencies”.
The Federal Inland Revenue and Nigerian Custom Services are the regulatory authorities vested with the powers of monitoring foreign exchange utilization and assessment of taxes among others as canvassed and contended by the parties in their respective submissions.
The development is in line with oversight functions of Customs and Excise Management Act and Federal Inland Revenue Service relating to monitoring foreign exchange utilization and prevention of illegal trade, in case of customs, and assessment, collection and accounting for tax and other revenues accruing to the Federal Government, as it relates to Federal Inland Revenue Service.
With this, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice demonstrates unflinching commitment to the rule of law where all statutory agencies will be allowed to independently work with a view to fulfilling their mandates and recourse to them in contentious cases, as regulatory agencies of government on issues that border on their statutory mandate.