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Thursday, February 22, 2024

MOBILE PHONE SERVICE PROVIDERS OWE GOVERNMENT MILLIONS IN TAXES-LEAKED DOCUMENTS

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MONROVIA, LIBERIA – A perplexing tale is unfolding in the realm of telecommunications in Liberia. Two major phone service providers, Lonestar Cell and Orange Liberia, find themselves embroiled in a controversy of monumental proportions. Shockingly, it has come to light that these esteemed companies are reportedly owing the Liberian Government an exorbitant sum in the tune of millions of United States dollars.

The mystery deepens as it remains unclear why these telecom giants are reneging on meeting their financial obligations to the Liberian government; Lyndon J. Ponnie, Sr., reports. Speculation runs rampant as to the possible reasons behind the apparent failure of the two major mobile phone service providers to fulfill their fiscal responsibilities, leaving the public and authorities alike bewildered and searching for answers.

Leaked documents obtained by Concord Times revealed Lonestar Cell  Mobile Network, with a projection of over USD 3 million for the year 2023, contributed a mere USD 186,986, leaving a significant shortfall of USD 3,135,465. Similarly, the same documents revealed Orange Liberia with a projection of over USD 7 million, paid only USD 2,764,418 and has a balance of over USD 4 million for the same fiscal period.

Adding another layer of intrigue to this unfolding saga is the perplexing inaction of government agencies in enforcing the collection of legitimate taxes from both Lonestar Cell and Orange Liberia.

Despite the glaring financial discrepancies, the lack of decisive measures from the authorities raises questions about the complexities and potential improprieties within the intricate web of corporate-government relations.

As the people of Liberia grapple with the implications of this unprecedented situation, whispers of suspicion and skepticism permeate the air. The once unassailable reputation of these telecom titans now hangs in the balance, while the government’s ability to uphold fiscal accountability comes under scrutiny.

Amidst this climate of uncertainty, a tale of high-stakes intrigue and financial reckoning begins to unfurl, as the nation awaits the revelation of the truth behind the staggering debts and the perplexing inaction that has left the fate of these companies and the integrity of the government agency in question.

Despite their large projections, a shocking revelation came to light when leaked documents exposed the financial discrepancies within the companies. Lonestar Mobile Network, with a projected revenue of over USD 3 million, had only contributed a mere USD 186,986, leaving a staggering shortfall of USD 3,135,465. Similarly, Orange, with a projected revenue of over USD 7 million, had only paid USD 2,764,418, leaving a balance of over USD 4 million. The leaked documents revealed a jaw-dropping variance between their projections and actual payments.

As the news spread like wildfire throughout Liberia, the once prestigious reputations of Lonestar Mobile Network and Orange are tarnished. Customers are shocked and dismayed by the apparent tax halabaloo within these industry giants.

Liberians are calling on the incoming Government of Joseph Boakai to launch an investigation to unravel the truth of why this happened.

The saga of the leaked documents served as a cautionary tale for companies across the city, reminding them of the importance of honesty and integrity in the cutthroat world of business. And thus, the mobile phone industry in Liberia learned a valuable lesson, forging a new path towards a more transparent and principled future.

In response to questions sent Lonestarcell by this paper on the issue, it said: “MTN is not only dedicated to providing high-quality services to its customers, but also to paying its taxes in a timely and amicable manner. In fact, Lonestar Cell MTN is one of the largest tax contributors in Liberia, making it a major contributor to the economic development of Liberia.

“The company’s Chief Financial Officer, Kobina Bentsi-Enchill, affirmed that they take their tax and financial responsibilities seriously. Lonestar Cell MTN is working diligently with the LRA to reconcile any issues and fulfill their obligations. The company values its relationship with the LRA and is always commited to resolve any challenges as they arise. Lonestar Cell MTN remains a responsible and reliable taxpayer that will always fulfill its commitments.”

Efforts to contact Orange Liberia failed up to press time. Investigation continues.

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