By Staff Writer
The Nigerian Senate has withdrawn a statement that largely exonerated Africa’s biggest mobile phone giant MTN of accusations of illegally repatriating $14 billion.
The report, presented to the Nigerian Senate was almost immediately sent back for further work because it did not capture possible infractions by all stakeholders, Reuters news agency reported and citing two people familiar with the matter said.
The Nigerian parliament decided last September to investigate whether MTN unlawfully repatriated $13.92 billion from Nigeria between 2006 and 2016.
Reuters reported that senators did not understand why the report largely condemned the CBN while MTN and named commercial banks which transferred money overseas were barely reprimanded, said one of the people familiar with the investigation.
The report has now been “withdrawn for consultations and further legislative work”, said the other person with knowledge of the investigation.
Last June, MTN and the Federal Government of Nigeria reached an agreement over a $3.9 billion fine imposed by the country’s regulator.
MTN informed investors that the dispute has been resolved with the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN).
MTN Nigeria agreed to pay an equivalent of R23.9 billion (Naira 330 billion over three years or $1.671 billion) at the official exchange rate or $902 million (R13.5 billion) at the Lagos Parallel Market Rate.
The mobile phone operator said the R3.8 billion (Naira 50 billion) paid in good faith and without prejudice by MTN Nigeria on 24 February 2016 forms part of the monetary component of the settlement leaving a balance of Naira 280 billion outstanding.
The Naira 260 billion outstanding will be paid off as follows – Naira 30 billion on 8 July 2016, Naira 30 billion on 31 March 2017, Naira 55 billion on 31 March 2018, Naira 55 billion on 31 December 2018, Naira 55 billion on 31 March 2019 and Naira 55 billion on 31 May 2019.