Cellular company Novafone has denied media reports that it was shut down for tax evasion in the tune of US$1.3M, but concedes it’s US$1.3m in license fees. The Executive Vice President of Novafone, Abdullah Kamara, says the information is an attempt to tarnish the corporate image of Novafone.
It had been reported that the Liberia Revenue Authority shut down Novafonefor failure to settle its tax obligation of US$1.3m GSM fees allegedly accrued from 2012 to 2014. A source indicated that officers of the tax enforcement division of the LRA, backed by a court order and sheriffs from the Tax Court at the Temple of Justice, walked into the premises of the company during the morning hours and ordered the staff out of the various offices and shut down the office headquarters in Congo Town, outside Monrovia.
At a press conference on Saturday, Kamara said he believes the story of a failed deal was intended to derail and put in disrepute a corporate marriage between Libtelco and Novafone that would have seen a very strong public corporation that actually brings real competition into a highly lopsided telecom market in Liberia, exposing consumers to price fixes, collusion among others under the disguise of freebies.
“Novafone is considering several options with respect to our rights under the laws of the Republic of Liberia concerning these allegations. As far as we are aware, Novafone has never been closed down for Tax Evasion,” Kamara said.
“Yes, the company in comparison to other operators in Liberia can be labeled as being smaller in revenue and subscriber base, but Novafone is not and should not by any means be labeled as a failed company unless there was an agreed target that it failed to achieve”, he argued.
He said the company will never indulge in tax evasion as it is being portrayed in the media. “Tax Evasion is Illegal and a serious economic crime under the laws of Liberia. Novafone has been audited more than once by the Government of Liberia and as our records have shown, we have never been accused for tax evasion practice,” he concluded.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne