Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has instructed banks to freeze the accounts of media entertainment firm MultiChoice Africa and its Nigerian subsidiary for breaching agreements and denying access to their records for auditing.
The firms are part of South African-headquartered MultiChoice Group, which provides television and other entertainment services across Africa.
The banks would have to recover ₦1.8-trillion (US$4.4 billion) in outstanding tax obligations from MultiChoice Africa and MultiChoice Nigeria, the FIRS said in a statement.
“It was discovered that the companies persistently breached all agreements and undertakings with the service, they would not promptly respond to correspondences, they lacked data integrity, and are not transparent as they continually deny FIRS access to their records,” the revenue authority said.
Meanwhile, MultiChoice Group said in email response to a request for comment that it has read the media reports and the statements made by FIRS.
MultiChoice Nigeria, on it part, said it 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,” it said.
MultiChoice shares tumbled more than 5% on Tuesday after the Nigeria news broke. They were last quoted down 6% at US$7.86.