MTN: Claim of illegal transfer of $14b from Nigeria false

MTN: Claim of illegal transfer of $14b from Nigeria false

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 10:07 am

An MTN office in Lagos

An MTN office in Lagos


South African telecoms giant MTN on Wednesday said the allegation that it repatriated $13.92 billion from Nigeria without following due process was false and without merit.


Members of the upper chamber of the National Assembly had after a motion raised by Senator Dino Melaye mandated its Committee on Banking and Insurance to investigate the allegations.


Melaye had in the motion alleged that MTN, the biggest operator in the Nigeria’s telecoms sector illegally repatriated $13.92 billion out of Nigeria by MTN with connivance of some banks and a serving minister in President Muhammadu  Buhari’s government between  2006 and 2016.


Melaye gave the breakdown of how the money was repatriated through four banks, which he named as Stanbic IBTC – $4.87 billion; Standard Chartered Bank – $5.72 billion; Citi Bank – $2.98 billion and Diamond Bank – $0.35 billion.


He alleged that the funds were expatriated in violation of Memorandum 22 of the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring & Miscellaneous) Act, 1995.


The probe is coming three months after MTN agreed to pay a reduced fine of 330 billion naira ($1.05 billion) in a settlement with the Federal Government over unregistered SIM cards.


“The allegations made against MTN are completely unfounded and without any merit,” MTN Nigeria chief executive Ferdi Moolman said in brief statement.


Analysts contended that the probe may further strain relationship between Nigeria and South Africa.

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