The Kogi State government said the shutting down of some Telecom facilities operating across the state was based on adherence to court orders. The Director of Legal and Enforcement, Kogi State Internal Revenue Service (KGIRS), Barrister Jamil Isah Abdullah disclosed this in Lokoja on Wednesday night while speaking with newsmen over the shutting down of MTN and Airtel facilities in the state.
He noted that KGIRS has since inception of the present administration, called in the telecom service providers for dialogue on the modality for the payment of the levy, but they refused to honor the invitations. He pointed out that based on the refusal, Kogi State Internal Revenue Service (KGIRS) proceeded to Court in accordance with provisions of the law and obtained an order to shut the business premises of Airtel and MTN to recover the sum owed.
“The major telecoms affected for now are MTN and Airtel. The sites that have been shut for Airtel are just 5 while MTN is 4. So the 150 mentioned on the online news is incorrect.
The demanded levies, rents and fees are also not illegal. In the case of Airtel, they have not paid their Right of Way permit fees which allows them to lay fibre optic cables in Kogi State. This payment has been due and owed since 2016. There are outstanding yearly rents payable on the Right of Way Permits for the year 2016 to 2018.
There is also the Annual Social Service Development Levy and the Annual Employee Economic Development Levy. Penalty for failure to pay all these are included”, he noted.
He added that all the payments were by virtue of a law in Kogi State which was duly passed by the Kogi state House of Assembly. He, however, revealed that one of the telecom service providers had come to the negotiating table to pay what was due, stressing that the other still remained recalcitrant and engaged hoodlums to refuel their facilities in the night, an action which he described to be against the law.