The Kogi State government said the shutting down of some Telecom facilities operating across the state are based on adherent to Court orders.
The Director of Legal and Enforcement, Kogi State Internal Revenue Service(KGIRS), Barrister Jamil Isah Abdullah disclosed this in Lokoja while speaking with newsmen over the shutting down of MTN and Airtel facilities in the state, noted that KGIRS has since inception of the present administration , invited the telecom service providers for dialogue on the modality for the payment of the levy , but refused to honour the invitations.
He pointed out that based on the refusal, Kogi State Internal Revenue Service (KGIRS) proceeded to Court in accordance with provisions of the law obtained an order to distrain the business premises of Airtel and MTN to recover the sum owed.
“The major telecoms affected for now are MTN and Airtel. The sites that have been shut for Airtel are just 5 while MTN is 4. So the 150 mentioned on the online news is incorrect.
“The demanded levies, rents and fees are also not illegal. In the case of Airtel, they have not paid their Right of Way permit fees which allows them to lay fibre optic cables in Kogi State.
This payment has been due and owed since 2016. There are outstanding yearly rents payable on the Right of Way Permits for the years,2016 to 2018.
There is also the Annual Social Service Development Levy and the Annual Employee Economic Development Levy. Penalty for failure to pay all these are included”, he noted.
He added that all these payments are to be paid by virtue of a law of the Kogi State duly passed by House of Assembly. He also stressed that Kogi has a duly passed law which allows KGIRS to collect the levies and fees.
He revealed that on this understanding, one of the telecom service providers has come to the negotiating table to pay what is due, stressing that MTN remained recalcitrant and engaged hoodlums to refuelled their facilities in the night, an action that is also against the law.
By Muhammad Mukhtar Idris.Hod Media and Corporate Service.