Telecom operator MTN Group has announced that it will invest the equivalent of US$ 1 billion in Ghana over the next five years, following the government exempting its Ghanaian unit from tax claims worth about US$772 million.
The investment comes on the heels of the Ghana Revenue Authority exempting the company’s bill for back taxes earlier this month after the incident sparked a diplomatic reaction by the South African foreign minister.
If you recall, the tax claim was issued after the revenue authority audited the company for 2014 to 2018 and inferred that it under-declared its revenue by about 30 per cent during the period.
MTN CEO Ralph Mupita said the company was committed to investing in Ghana despite short-term headwinds.
Mupita said in a statement, “To be sure, macroeconomic conditions are very challenging in the near term. However, we are focused on the medium and long term and are seeing growth.”
He said that MTN intends to invest the amount in 5G technology, which it believes would spur faster growth across sectors.
One of the largest economies in Africa, Ghana is reckoning with its worst economic crisis in a generation as capital outflows, a crushing debt-service burden and rapid currency depreciation wreak havoc on government and household finances.
Data resulted earlier this week show its consumer inflation slowed slightly to 53.6 per cent year on year in January from a more than two-decade high of 54.1 per cent in the previous month.