MTN denies illegally repatriating $8.1bn

MTN denies illegally repatriating $8.1bn

Nike Popoola, Ifeanyi Onuba, Ife Ogunfuwa and Feyisayo Popoola

MTN Nigeria has denied its involvement in the alleged illegal repatriation of dividends worth $8.1bn between 2007 and 2015.

This came as the shares of MTN Group plunged by 25 per cent to a nine-year low on Thursday, a day after the Nigerian arm of the business was ordered to return the funds that the Central Bank of Nigeria said was illegally repatriated with the help of its bankers.

The telecoms company through its Public Relations Manager, Funso Aina, on Thursday, acknowledged the receipt of a letter from the CBN regarding the allegations on August 29, 2018.

The company said it only declared and paid dividends with the Certificates of Capital Importation issued by its bankers with the approval of the CBN.

“MTN Nigeria Communications Limited (MTN Nigeria) received a letter on August 29, 2018 from the CBN alleging that the CCIs issued in respect of the conversion of shareholders’ loans in MTN Nigeria to preference shares in 2007 had been improperly issued. As a consequence, they claimed the historic dividends repatriated by MTN Nigeria between 2007 and 2015 amounting to $8.1bn needed to be refunded to the CBN,” he said.

He added, “MTN Nigeria strongly refutes these allegations and claims. No dividends have been declared or paid by MTN Nigeria other than pursuant to the CCIs issued by our bankers and with the approval of the CBN as required by law.”

The company said the issues regarding the CCIs were object of investigation by the Senate in 2016, adding the findings by the Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions indicated that it did not contravene forex laws.

MTN Nigeria stated it regretted the re-emergence of the issue, saying, “It damages investors’ confidence and, by extension, inhibits the growth and development of the Nigerian economy.”

“In September 2016, the Senate mandated the Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions to carry out a holistic investigation on compliance with the Foreign Exchange (monitoring and miscellaneous) Act by MTN Nigeria & Others.

“In its report issued in November 2017, the findings evidenced that MTN Nigeria did not collude to contravene the foreign exchange laws and there were no negative recommendations made against MTN Nigeria,” the statement said.According to the Aina, the company is committed to good governance and will abide by the extant laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.The company promised to engage with the relevant authorities, […]

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