ABUJA (Reuters) – The Nigerian financial service said Thursday it had ordered banks to freeze the accounts of media entertainment company MultiChoice Africa and its Nigerian subsidiary for breach of agreements and denial of access to their records for scrutiny.
The companies are part of the South Africa-based MultiChoice Group, which provides television and other entertainment services across Africa.
Banks would have to reclaim 1.8 trillion naira ($ 4.4 billion) in outstanding tax liabilities from MultiChoice Africa and MultiChoice Nigeria, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) said in a statement.
“The companies were found to have persistently violated all agreements and commitments with the service, did not respond promptly to correspondence, lacked data integrity and were not transparent because they continually deny FIRS access to their records,” said FIRS.
The MultiChoice Group in South Africa announced that it would make a statement shortly. A representative from his Nigerian subsidiary was not immediately available by phone for comment.
According to FIRS, the Nigerian subsidiary contributed the largest share of sales to the Multichoice group.
($ 1 = 411.0000 naira)
Reporting by Camillus Eboh; Adaptation by Mark Potter and Edmund Blair