Following $10.13 billion allegations of illegal repatriation of funds and tax evasion against MTN Nigeria, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Department of State Services (DSS) and other relevant security agencies to probe the operations of the company.
In a statement in Abuja on Sunday, the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said the Federal Government should spare no effort in recovering the money as anything to the contrary would send wrong signals to other corporate organisations it had punished for lesser tax infractions.
Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had alleged that MTN repatriated $8.13 billion using irregular certificates of capital importation (CCIs), while the Federal Government through the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, demanded for the payment of $2 billion in tax arrears.
According to Wabba, the allegations have vindicated the NLC as it had earlier highlighted alleged labour laws, local content law and security breaches by the telecommunications company.
The statement quoted the NLC President as saying, “We at the NLC hereby urge MTN Nigeria to comply without further delay with the directive of the Federal Government to pay $2bn in tax arrears as well as the $8.13bn it was said to have illegally repatriated to South Africa over which four indigenous banks have been fined.
“Coupled with the demand that MTN should obey our national laws by allowing unionisation, we urge critical government agencies such as the Nigerian Communication Commission, the EFCC, the Department of State Services, Nigeria Immigration Service and the CBN to closely look into the operations of the company, especially in the light of the Thabo Mbeki report.
“On our part, we are, however, not surprised by the unethical conduct of MTN. They are not only engaged in the exploitation of Nigerian workers and turning them into slaves, but have extended their frontiers to unwholesome economic exploitation and sabotage.”
The NLC also called on the government to use the opportunity to send appropriate message to everyone, especially corporate organisations that often paid taxes in the breach.