The Nigerian House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts has committed to ensure that the Federal Ministry of Trade and Industry’s 2.6 trillion naira capital allowances to MTN Nigeria are properly accounted for.
Chairman of the Committee, Oluwole Oke, revealed that documents relating to the 2.6 trillion naira capital allowances were reportedly fabricated during the resumed investigation hearing on Tuesday into the audit queries made by the Auditor General of the Federation on tax avoidance.
The Committee explained that the invitation extended to MTN over the tax evasion allegations were ignored stressing that the Auditor General’s report indicated that the Federal Inland Revenue Service gave value to some of the telecommunications company dealings without certificates and evidence of capital allowance meant to be issued by the Federal Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The Committee’s Chairman maintained that Nigerians are entitled to know the implications of MTN taking a 2.6 trillion naira tax waivers certificate at the detriment of the country’s economy.
General Manager, MTN group, Yemisi Adeleye who represented the telecommunications company at the hearing explained that it has submitted all relevant documents issued by the Federal Ministry of Trade and Industry reflecting the value of 2.6 trillion naira tax waiver.
Adeleye further explained that the Federal Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Federal Inland Revenue Service granted the allowances using various supporting documents.
The Committee disagreed with the company’s presentation and vowed to ascertain if the involvement of some Ministry officials were professional and patriotic stressing that the parliament cannot allow abuse of the country’s laws by people whose salaries and allowances were appropriated to prevent such loopholes.
For further legislative action, the committee requested that all authorities involved in the transaction from the Federal Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Federal Inland Revenue Service appear before it with inspection data and tax records for the periods under scrutiny from both MTN and FIRS.