MTN ends tax arrears and illegal repatriation battle with Nigeria

The Central Bank’s Governor says MTN is absolved of any wrongdoing.

South Africa’s MTN has paid $53 million to settle a money transfer dispute with Nigeria’s central bank 

At Nigeria’s first Monteray Policy Committee meeting, Central bank, Governor Godwin Emefiele said the money paid by MTN was a notional sum and not a fine or penalty. He also added that the company has been absolved from any wrongdoing.

I am glad to tell you that in November we held a round of meetings with MTN Nigeria and MTN South-Africa and by December we concluded those engagements and the matters have been resolved,” he said.

“It resulted in a notional reversal. Let me make it clear that it is not a fine or a penalty. It was a notional reversal of 53 million dollars amounting to about N19.5 billion.

“This amount has since been paid by MTN and terms of settlement of this matter has already been lodged at the Nigerian court.”

The central bank had ordered MTN and its lenders in 2018 to bring back a total of $8.1 billion it alleged the company had illegally repatriated using improperly issued paperwork between 2007 and 2008.

In August of that year, the apex bank had fined Citibank, Diamond Bank, Stanbic IBTC Nigeria and Standard Chartered Bank, a total of N5.8 billion for allegedly issuing irregular certificates of capital importation (CCIs) to MTN, and ordered the telco to refund the $8.1 billion to its coffers.

The telco in a statement denied any wrongdoing, saying that it had provided additional documentation to the apex bank

The long-standing issue affected MTN’s share price, dragging to its lowest level since 2006.

Emefiele said the matter has been withdrawn from court.


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