In Nigeria, telecom operators Airtel and Globacom have not fulfilled their obligations to the Kogi state government since 2017. After having arrested the companies at fault on several occasions, the tax authorities of the state finally decided to crack down.
Kogi State Internal Revenue Service (KGIRS), the internal revenue service of Kogi State in Nigeria said on Tuesday March 22 that it has closed Globacom Nigeria and Airtel Networks facilities in the state until further notice . The two mobile operators are accused of non-payment of tax obligations amounting to 360,035,000 naira (approximately $867,000).
According to Saidu Isah Okino, Director of Legal Services and Law Enforcement at KGIRS, Globacom’s debt stands at N300 million while Airtel’s stands at N60 million. These debts have been calculated with an interest rate of 1% and cover both companies, individuals and the contribution to social services (SSCL) over the period from 2017 to 2021.
Mr. Okino recalls that the closure of Globacom and Airtel sites and properties was ordered by a court in Kogi State. It follows numerous letters sent to the managements of the two telecom companies “to convince them to pay the taxes they owe to the Kogi State government, but they have never shown any sign of commitment “.
With the closure of Globacom and Airtel infrastructure, technicians will find it difficult to carry out maintenance work. Over time, this could lead to the degradation of the quality of telecom services provided by the two operators in Kogi State. The reopening of the facilities is conditional on the payment by the two telecom companies of their tax debts.