Nigeria hits MTN with new, $2bn tax bill

News of the unexpected tax bill sent MTN shares tumbling by as much as 7.5% to an almost 10-year low. (AFP)

News of the unexpected tax bill sent MTN shares tumbling by as much as 7.5% to an almost 10-year low. (AFP)

Nigeria has ordered Africa’s leading mobile operator MTN to pay back taxes of $2-billion just days after the government ordered it to repatriate $8.13-billion, the company said on Tuesday.

MTN gave a brief statement to the market in which it confirmed that Nigeria’s attorney general gave “notice of an intention to recover the $2-billion from MTN Nigeria”.

“Based on the detailed review performed, MTN Nigeria believes it has fully settled all amounts owing under the taxes in question,” said the company.

READ MORE: MTN affair casts shadow over Nigeria’s economy, say analysts

Nigeria’s central bank said on Wednesday that it had ordered MTN to refund $8.13-billion that it allegedly illegally repatriated and fined four banks involved in the transfer.

News of the unexpected tax bill sent MTN shares tumbling by as much as 7.5% to an almost 10-year low.

It was also the latest challenge to hit MTN since it began operations in Nigeria 17 years ago.

MTN was fined $5.2-billion in 2015 by Nigeria’s telecoms regulator for failing to disconnect unregistered SIM cards on its network.

The fine was later reduced to $1.7-billion after a series of negotiations with the Nigerian government.

© Agence France-Presse

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