Rob Shuter, MTN's CEO
Rob Shuter, MTN's CEO (Photo Credit: African Business Magazine)

MTN Benin announced late on Thursday that it has received notification of a R3.1 billion ($213 million) “unpaid” frequency fees from the telecoms regulator on the 8th November 2017.

The notification states that a process was being initiated to review the reasons why MTN Benin has not paid outstanding invoices on frequency fees for 2016 and 2017.

On 30 March 2017, the Government of Benin issued MTN Benin frequency fees invoices for an amount equivalent to approximately $213 million for the period March 2016 to December 2017.

“Whilst the license agreement prescribes the calculation methodology for frequency fees it also provides that fees should take into account regional benchmarks, international practices and the local economy,” said MTN spokesperson Karen Byamugisha in a statement published late on Thursday.

“MTN Benin has contested this amount on the basis that, inter alia, the amount is excessive which has been confirmed by an independent benchmark report commissioned in terms of MTN Benin’s license.

“We will continue to engage with the regulatory authorities in Benin to find an amicable solution to this matter.”

Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a leading emerging market operator, connecting subscribers in 22 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Nigeria Exonerates MTN Over Forex Transfers

The Nigerian Senate exonerated MTN Nigeria for alleged repatriation of $13.6 billion between 2006 and 2016 it did not receive proofs of collusion to contravene the foreign exchange laws.

According to a report by ThisDay, the Senate did not indict MTN Nigeria on grounds that while there was evidence of massive capital outflow, it did not receive proofs of collusion to contravene the foreign exchange laws.

This followed the adoption of the report of its Committee on Banking, Insurance and Financial Institutions on alleged repatriation of $13.6 billion between 2006 and 2016 by MTN Communications translating to about $1 billion annually.

“No doubt there is a disturbing evidence of foreign exchange haemorrhage in Nigeria especially in the period of recession. MTN, for instance, repatriated over $1.3 billion annually since 2006 or $13.92 billion between 2006 and 2016. Just for one company, the phenomenon constitutes a huge outflow that could pose challenges for foreign exchange and national monetary stability,” the report said.