MTN deflects allegations of illegal repatriation of $14bn out of Nigeria
Posted by News Express | 28 September 2016 | 1,946 times
MTN Nigeria denies that it illegally repatriated $14bn out of Nigeria, as alleged by Nigerian politicians in the country’s senate.
“The allegations made against MTNN are completely unfounded and without any merit,” MTN Nigeria CEO Ferdi Moolman said in a statement on Wednesday morning.
MTN’s share price on the JSE fell sharply on Tuesday when news of the allegations emerged.
Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that Nigeria’s senate had said it would investigate the claim thoroughly.
However, analysts have questioned the veracity of the claim, saying it seemed unlikely, given Nigeria’s tight exchange controls, that the movement of such a large sum of cash would have gone undetected for so long.
The allegation was that the money had been moved out of Nigeria over a period of four years. Four banks were said to be involved.
This is not the first time MTN has run into trouble in Nigeria. It was fined $5.2bn for failing to deregister SIM cards, which it eventually managed to reduce to $1.7bn.
MTN shares were up 0.45% at R120.31 shortly after the JSE opened on Wednesday, recouping only a fraction of Tuesday’s roughly 3% fall.
•Adapted from a Business Day (South Africa) report. Photo shows MTN Nigeria CEO Ferdi Moolman.