MTN denies it ‘illegally’ moved $14bn out of Nigeria

2016-09-28 09:11 - Gareth van Zyl, Fin24
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MTN. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

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Cape Town - Africa’s biggest mobile network MTN has hit back at reports about allegations that it illegally repatriated R187bn ($13.92bn) out of Nigeria.

Reports on Tuesday emerged that Nigerian lawmakers have raised the fresh allegations and that the country’s Senate was set to investigate the matter.

Nigerian politician, Dino Melaye, has made a motion accusing MTN of repatriating the funds over 10 years starting in 2006, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

Four banks involved in the alleged illegal transfers are Citigroup, Standard Chartered, and Nigerian lenders Stanbic IBTC Holdings and Diamond Bank, the Bloomberg report said.

“The allegations made against MTN are completely unfounded and without any merit,” MTN Nigeria CEO Ferdi Moolman said in a statement on Wednesday morning.

This is just the latest controversy to hit MTN in Nigeria, its biggest market where it has around 50 million subscribers.

Regulators in Nigeria slapped MTN with a $3.9bn dollar fine last year for failing to meet a deadline to disconnect 5.1 million unregistered SIM cards.

MTN negotiated with regulators and the Nigerian government and then came to a deal earlier this year to pay 330 billion naira ($1bn) as part of a settlement.

MTN Nigeria also agreed to list the company on the West African nation’s bourse.

MTN operates in 22 countries across Africa, the Middle East and Asia and it has over 230 million subscribers.

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