By Foday Moriba Conteh
The Anti-Corruption Commission has on Wednesday 15th January, 2020 cleared the air on news making the rounds that the telecommunications giant operating in Sierra Leone that Orange-SL owes the National Revenue Authority (NRA) and by extension the Government of Sierra Leone the whooping sum of 4.2 Billion Leones as tax arrears highlighted in the 2018 Auditor’s General Report.
Speaking to this medium in an interview at ACC Office on Gloucester Street in Freetown, the Public Relations Officer of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Margret Morray, she disclosed that the Press Conference convened on the 7th January, 2020 by the Anti- Corruption Commission, the Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala mentioned the names of entities including Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Telecommunications Companies etc allegedly said to owe the Government of Sierra Leone public funds and among them he named Orange-SL as one of those entities that fell short of honouring its tax obligations to the NRA.
She noted that after the Press Conference Orange-SL contacted the ACC in relation to the said issue and categorically pointed out that they have honoured all their taxes and so were very surprised to learn about that.
She further intimated how the ACC contacted the NRA to shed light on the issue to which it was abundantly made clear that Orange-SL doesn’t own the Government of Sierra Leone the said 4.2 Billion Leones as inter alia purported. She also underscored that at the time the Audit Service conducted its audit they could not establish or capture whether Orange-SL had paid the 4.2 Billion Leones in 2018.
The ACC PRO also informed disclosed after conducting a thorough investigation it became glaring that Orange-SL doesn’t owe the Government of Sierra Leone as it is being mooted in certain quarters.