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Nigerian tribunal orders MultiChoice to pay 50% of disputed $4.4bn tax bill

The tax tribunal adjourned the case until September 23, subject to the company complying with its order.
Image: Moneyweb

A Nigerian tax tribunal ordered the local unit of South Africa’s pay-TV company MultiChoice to pay 50% of a disputed 1.8 trillion naira ($4.38 billion) tax bill relating to previous years, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) said on Wednesday.

Read: Nigerian revenue service seeks to freeze MultiChoice Africa accounts

The deposit of 50% of the sum was a condition that had to be fulfilled by MultiChoice Nigeria Ltd before the tribunal could hear a full appeal on the matter, the FIRS statement said.

Listen: Market Watcher: JSE (non)moves, Jackson Hole, Adcock Ingram, Datatec and MultiChoice

MultiChoice Nigeria, a division of a South African group, provides DSTV, a cable TV product that is popular in Nigeria.

The statement came after the FIRS said in July it had instructed banks to freeze the accounts of MultiChoice because the company had refused to grant access for the tax auditors to its servers.

FIRS Chairman Muhammad Nami said at the time that banks would have to recover the 1.8 trillion naira which the tax service said it was owed.

Reuters has requested comment from MultiChoice to Wednesday’s statement.

The tax tribunal adjourned the case until September 23, subject to the company complying with its order, FIRS said in its statement.

MultiChoice is the latest South African group with a significant presence in Nigeria to face a multi-billion-dollar tax demand from the West African country.

In January 2020, Nigeria’s attorney general withdrew a $2 billion tax bill it had sought to impose on the mobile telecoms group MTN, after a long saga that investors said had damaged Nigeria’s reputation as an investment destination.

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If you do business in Nigeria you will get mugged by the government !!!

Probably not only by Govt, they will try to mug and cheat you around every corner.
MTN was slapped with some absurd fine for not registering all their customers with Gov, something like RICA. A few years back.
Multichoice must just leave Nigeria, and let them sort out their own subscription satellite or online streaming services.
No doubt SA will follow this example. All failed African states try this. Trying to rip off foreign companies and tourists. And raising taxes for the locals.
Zim asked you already 20 years back to have special car insurance when you came to visit as a tourist. The June 2021 Solar Eclipse was the last occasion to visit that beautiful, but rotten country.

Nigerians have their own Corporate Xenophobia going on.

The truth is they don’t want foreign and especially South African companies there. The fact that Multichoice makes their lives better with DSTV is irrelevant. If you really want to know what they are thinking read this comment on Youtube, by one “Sam”: “White settlers have been kicked out of every country apart from Namibia and South Africa. Africa existed before your arrival and will continue to exist without you in the picture. We actually would like a war or something to assist your departure. As a foreign settler, it actually doesn’t concern you what will happen to Africa”. There is a deep mistrust towards foreign companies.

Why is MultiChoice in Nigeria anyway? why waste your time there.

They still make big margins on old fashioned satellite tv there. In South Africa people simply don’t see value in the product and would rather spend the equivalent on good fibre.

50 % alone is 4.4b. Wow South African are making huge sum from Nigeria. Yet they don’t pay tax. Had it been is the other way round the managing of DStv will be in prison now.

Multichoice has a secret weapon! It should threaten to stop repeating repeating repeating everything and if that does not work, stop advertising advertising advertising the repeats repeats repeats.

End of comments.

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