13 September 2018

Nigeria: U.S.$8.1 Billion MTN Proceeds - FG Insists Firm Must Play By Rules

The Federal Government has said it doesn't want MTN Nigeria to die but that it must abide by the rules and regulations guiding business transactions in the country.

This is coming just as Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited said it has sent a comprehensive response to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the purported infractions while refuting all allegations of any wrongdoing.

Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Board of Commissioners, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye said the government wasn't trying to send the South African telecom operator away from the country, but "it should play the game by the rules."

MTN is having $8.1 billion funds repatriation and $2bn tax issues with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

But Senator Durojaiye who spoke to journalists on Wednesday at the Nigeria Pavilion at the on-going ITU Telecom World 2018 in Durban, South Africa said, "We do not want MTN to die or leave our country. We want them and we do not have any problem with them; but we believe they must play by all our rules and regulations," he said.

Durojaiye confirmed on-going talks to get an amicable settlement to the tax and repatriation issues. "As you heard from Rob Shuter [MTN Group President/CEO] yesterday, MTN doesn't have any problem with us neither do we have with them. What is playing out is being settled and we shall get to the root soon," he noted.

On its part, Standard Chartered Bank in a statement signed by its Head, Corporate Affairs, Brand and Marketing in Nigeria, Dayo Aderugbo, said, "I would like to reiterate to our stakeholders that in Nigeria, the Board and Management of the Bank hereby use this opportunity to advise its valued clients that the action of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) does not impact their ability to engage with the Bank for their personal, business and corporate transactions."

The bank and three others recently received a letter from CBN imposing sanctions on them for alleged breaches of foreign exchange regulations in connection with certain foreign currency remittances.

"These transactions, some of which date back to 2001, were in respect of foreign currency remittances backed by Certificates of Capital Importation (CCIs) issued in favour of our client, MTN Nigeria Communications Limited," the bank said in the statement.

Nigeria

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