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NCA rebuffs parliament’s report that Zain, MTN still pay Sudan

MTN, Zain logo (photo courtesy)

By William Madouk Garang  

The National Communication Authority has rebuffed parliamentary finance committee’s report which claimed that two major mobile network operators – MTN and Zain were still paying taxes to Sudan. 

Head of NCA, Napoleon Adok was reacting to a report by national parliament last week which alleged that the main telecom operating companies in the Country are still paying neighboring Sudan levies.

“The house observes that frequency fees are still being collected by Sudan from Zain and MTN because their registration licenses are valid until 2024 and 2027 respectively,” said Changkuoth Bichiock, the chairperson for finance and economic planning committee.

Addressing the media, Mr. Adok said the claim that main mobile operating companies still pay business profit taxes to Sudan is not true.

“I would also want to use this opportunity to clarify some issues that has been in the media recently that Zain and MTN are still paying taxes to Sudan, that is not true,” Adok refuted.

“What has actually been said to the parliament was that the licenses of Zain and MTN which are now working – are those licenses which were paid to Sudan before independence,” he continued.

He stated that the government then reached harmonization agreement with mobile operating firms to allow them to complete their term before they would be issued sovereign license.

“It was the license fee that was paid to Sudan back in 2005 before our independence [and] that we have allowed Zain to run it cost. So, by 2029, Zain will be issued a new sovereign license of South Sudan the same also with MTN,” he clarified.

The Boss of the Communication Authority cited that what led to the dispute and closure of Vivacell was because they wanted to continue using license of a non-state actor.

“…that’s why we had dispute with them [vivacell], we told them that it’s not possible because we are now an independent state therefore whoever wants to operate here must operate within our laws,” he noted.  

South Sudan has three Mobile Network operators which include, the Kuwait-based mobile operator, Zain alongside the South African-owned MTN, and South Sudan-based Digitel Network which was launched last year.

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