House of Representatives Moves to Probe MultiChoice Tax Debt

The House of Representatives, in a bid to address the MultiChoice tax issue, has initiated an investigation into MultiChoice Nigeria's alleged failure to pay about N1.8 trillion and $342 million in tax revenue to the federal government of Nigeria.

The House of Representatives also warns any potential buyer of MultiChoice Nigeria, Multichoice Africa, or any other subsidiary of the Multichoice Group operating in Nigeria to be aware of the company's alleged outstanding debt.

This was announced on Wednesday at the plenary after a motion was moved by Hon. Saidu Abdullahi, representing the good people of the Gbako/Bida/Katcha constituency under the All Progressives Congress (APC) platform.

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Moving the motion, Abdullahi stated that MultiChoice, a prominent multinational corporation operating in Nigeria, has been accused of non-remittance of tax revenues due to the Federation, as evidenced by the suppression of information discovered from the submissions in their home country.

He added that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIR) had engaged a consultant in 2021 under a whistleblowing contract to carry out an audit of the tax obligations of Multichoice Nigeria and MultiChoice Africa to ascertain the company's tax indebtedness to the country, as reported by the LEADERSHIP.

The lawmaker stated that their findings led to a backward audit and investigation by the FIRS from 2011 to 2020.

Mr Abdullahi said the previous attempts by FIRS to recover the unpaid taxes through legal means, including court proceedings and the subsequent resolution to settle out of court by both parties, have yet to yield the desired result.

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He said,

  • The systems audit and investigation have uncovered a staggering debt of over N1.8 trillion in back total taxes for MultiChoice Nigeria and $342 million in value-added tax for MultiChoice Africa. These are taxes that the companies have allegedly never paid since they started business operations in Nigeria. The FIRS levied both amounts upon the Multichoice Group, painting a grim picture of the company's financial practices. 

  • As arrangements are underway to sell Multichoice Nigeria and other Multichoice Group Subsidiaries in Nigeria to foreign investors, it's crucial to note that this tax debt remains outstanding. If urgent actions are not taken to recover these tax revenues from the Multichoice Group, Nigeria will lose a significant revenue source that could potentially inject life into the economy.

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