Novafone Executive Vice President for Operations, Abdullah L. Kamara, has denied a local media report that it was shut down for tax evasion in the amount of US$1.3 million, but said the company instead owes US$1.3 million in license fees.
He described the report that recently claimed that Novafone offices were shut down due to tax evasion as “absolutely false and misleading and we (Novafone) consider the report as deliberately intended to malign and defame the reputation and corporate image of Novafone, its executives and owners.”
Mr. Kamara said he believes that the report was intended to “derail and bring 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.
“The company in comparison to other operators in Liberia can be labelled 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 added.
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.
It may be recalled that a local media report said the Liberia Revenue Authority shut down Novafone for failure to settle its tax obligation of US$1.3 million allegedly accrued from 2012-2014.
The paper further said 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.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kamara urged Novafone’s customers not to be deterred by lies, deceit and detractions, promising to be the best GSM and internet service provider.