The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on Thursday said it has appointed some commercial banks as agents to recover N1.8 trillion from accounts of MultiChoice Nigeria Limited (MCN) And MultiChoice Africa (MCA).

In a statement by its Director, Communications and Liaison Department, Dr. Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad, FIRS stated that the decision was made due to the group’s continued refusal to grant it access to its servers for audit.

MultiChoice is the owner of Nigeria’s leading pay-per-view subscription TV, DSTV and GOTV.

The statement, which was signed by the Executive Chairman of FIRS, Muhammad Nami, said, “Particularly, MCN has avoided giving the FIRS accurate information on the number of its subscribers and income. The companies are involved in the under-remittance of taxes which necessitated a critical review of the tax-compliance level of the company.”

He further accused the parent company, Multi-Choice Africa (MCA), of non-payment of Value Added Tax (VAT) since its inception.

“Information currently at the disposal of FIRS has revealed a tax liability for relevant years of assessment of N1,822,923,909,313.94 and $342,531,206.

“There is no doubt that broadcasting, telecommunications and the cable-satellite industries have changed the face of communication in Nigeria. However, when it comes to tax compliance, some companies are found wanting. They do with impunity in Nigeria what they dare not try in their countries of origin,” it noted.

However, MultiChoice in a statement yesterday, said it has not received any notice of action from FIRS, insisting that it complies with the local tax laws.

“MultiChoice Nigeria has not received any notification from FIRS. MultiChoice Nigeria respects and is comfortable that it complies with the tax laws of Nigeria.

“We have been and are currently in discussion with FIRS regarding their concerns and believe that we will be able to resolve the matter amicably.”

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