MultiChoice bank account freeze in Nigeria over R63 billion in taxes

MultiChoice is facing the freezing of its bank accounts in Nigeria over a dispute involving 1.8 trillion naira (R63 billion) with the country’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Reuters reported.

According to the report, the Nigerian revenue services instructed banks to freeze the accounts of MultiChoice Africa and its Nigerian subsidiary.

FIRS alleged that MultiChoice breached agreements and denied access to their records for auditing.

“The companies would not promptly respond to correspondences, they lacked data integrity and are not transparent as they continually deny FIRS access to their records,” the executive chair of FIRS, Muhammad Nami, was quoted as saying.

“Particularly, [MultiChoice Nigeria Limited] has avoided giving the FIRS accurate information on the number of its subscribers and income.”

Nami said the revenue service instructed banks to sweep the balances in MultiChoice Africa and MultiChioce Nigeria’s accounts before executing any other transaction on behalf of the companies.

“It is further requested that the FIRS be informed of any transactions before execution on the account, especially transfers of funds to any of their subsidiaries,” he said.

According to Nami, Nigeria contributed 34% of total revenue for the MultiChoice group, and the bulk of revenue for MultiChoice Africa saying.

MultiChoice’s latest results for the year ended 31 March 2021 shows that South Africa accounted for 64% of total revenue, while its operations in the rest of Africa was 32% of revenue. The remainder of the revenue generated by the business comes from its international technology segment.

MultiChoice also noted in its most recent results that its cash holdings in Nigeria increased by R800 million in the past financial year to over R2.3 billion.

MyBroadband contacted MultiChoice for comment and it could not immediately provide a response to questions.

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MultiChoice bank account freeze in Nigeria over R63 billion in taxes