The House of Representatives says it will not to rest on its oars in a bid to ensure accountability on the N2.6 trillion capital allowances granted to MTN by the Federal Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Speaking at the resumed investigative hearing into the Audit queries on tax evasion issued by the office of the Auditor General of the Federation, the Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Oluwole Oke disclosed that the report indicated that the documents relating to the N2.6 trillion capital allowances were allegedly forged.
While stressing that the Committee invited MTN over tax evasion, Oke explained that the office of the Auditor General, in its report observed that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) accorded value to the telecoms company while in some cases without certificates and evidence of capital allowance issued by Federal Ministry of Trade and Industry reflecting the whole assets procured by the company.
He said: “We have issues in this country where funds are not adequate for Government to carry out policies and programmes which is why we had to borrow even though there are massive revenue leakages.
“MTN has also made appearances where
2.6 trillion was seen as the taxable value for assets of the company and we asked as to where they exist and who verified them, because they had already claimed value for them with the FIRS.”
He maintained that Nigerians have rights to know the implications of MTN taking a certificate of N2.6 trillion to FIRS for tax waivers on the economy.
The General Manager MTN, Yemisi Adeleye Mrs explained that the Company has submitted all relevant documents issued by Federal Ministry of Trade and Industry reflecting the value of N2.6 trillion given to MTN.
While responding to questions on the 2016 inspection relating to the capital allowances granted to the company, Adeleye observed that the company made claims to Federal Ministry of Trade and Industry at the end of the year prompting them to choose a location and inspect as it was physically impossible for them to inspect thousands of assets across the country.
However, the chairman of the committee, reiterated the Committee’s resolve to ascertain the patriotic and professional involvement of the Ministry officials, saying that the Parliament cannot fold its arms and watch when people whose salaries and allowances were appropriated to do a job failed to carry out their duties under the law.
To this end, the Committee resolved that all the officials involved in the inspection from Federal Ministry of Trade and Industry should be made to appear before it.
The Committee also requested for the tax records covering the periods under review from both MTN and FIRS for further legislative scrutiny.