‘No Tax Evasion’: Novafone Reacts To Media Report
Monrovia – Cellular company Novafone has denied a FrontPage Africa report that it was shut down for tax evasion in the tune of US$1.3M but says the company owes US$1.3m in license fees.
Executive Vice President of Novafone, Abdullah Kamara, says the story is an attempt to tarnish the corporate image of Novafone.
Sources at the Liberia Revenue Authority told FrontPage Africa on Thursday the company was shut down for failure to settle its tax obligation of US$1.3m GSM fees allegedly accrued from 2012-2014. A reporter who visited the offices late Thursday found locks on the gate.
The 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.
FrontPage Africa reported that President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has apparently sided with the court of public opinion that the controversial plan by the Liberia Telecommunications Corporation (Libtelco) to takeover one of the struggling cellular phone companies in Liberia, Novafone, is a bad one.
FrontPage Africa has reliably learnt from multiple sources that the President has rejected the deal in its entirety, declaring to aides that it is not in Liberia’s best interest and has killed plans by Libtelco to sanction a sale.
At Saturday press conference, Kamara said he believes that the story of a fail 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 etc. 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 labelled as a failed company unless there was an agreed target that it failed to achieve.”
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.
Henry Karmo (0886522495) [email protected]