MTN could strike a deal with the Central Bank of Nigeria in their dispute over the repatriation of $8.1 billion allegedly paid as a dividend to the South African-based mobile phone operator, Nigeria’s information minister told Reuters.
Nigeria’s Information Minister Lai Mohammed told Reuters during a visit to London on Wednesday that ““I am sure there will be a settlement and I believe they are getting closer to resolving it.”
He further stated: “They are ‘businessmen’ and they are going to resolve it… it is in the interest of all the parties that this matter will be resolved.”
Two monhs ago, the Central Bank of Nigeria demanded $8,1 billion allegedly paid as a dividend to MTN to be refunded to it. The government also handed MTN with a separate $2 billion tax bill.
Last month, MTN MTN applied to the Federal High Court of Nigeria for injunctive relief from the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Attorney General of the Nigerian Federation (AGF)’s orders.
“We believe that we have complied with all relevant laws, and in light of that, and the conflicting instructions from different organs of State, we have had no choice but to seek relief from the Courts in Nigeria. We remain firmly committed to the Nigerian market and will continue to engage with the authorities on these matters,” MTN Group CEO Rob Shuter said at the time.
In 2016, MTN was slapped with a $5.2 billion fine, which was later reduced to $3.9 billion and is still paying the Nigerian authorities.
The latest allegations also impact various banks including Standard Chartered was fined 2.4-billion naira ($7.86m), Stanbic IBTC Bank 1.8-billion naira, Citibank 1.2-billion naira and Diamond Bank 250-million naira.