The Kogi State government has again shut down several base stations belonging to MTN Nigeria, thereby disrupting telecom services in Lokoja, Obajana and other bordering communities.
This shutting down is coming barely two months, when the state government closed down over 160 base stations, leading to a total blackout of telecom services in the state and other neighbouring states of Nassarawa, Benue, Enugu, Anambra, Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, Kwara, Niger States and parts of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
This time, Jamil Isah, director, legal services and enforcement of Kogi State Internal Revenue, who led other staff to seal the base stations blamed the action on the refusal of MTN to offset an outstanding tax liability of N120 million to the state government.
He said, rather, MTN only paid a paltry N250, 000. “Paying a paltry N250, 000 out of N120 million is an abuse of the restraining order the state government earlier placed on KGIRS to allow for a peaceful resolution of the dispute,” he said, while disclosing that the state governor heeded the intervention of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) when its officials came and ordered the opening of the sealed MTN base stations to allow for negotiations.
He narrated that MTN did not take any steps to redeem its tax obligations in spite of court orders and has failed to make payment, noting that MTN has engaged in various means to subvert the order of the court.
“Kogi State will not allow flagrant disobedience of its order,” Isah stressed, adding that the KGIRS would not hesitate to shut all MTN base stations in the state if the service provider refused to resolve the tax dispute.