Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

4G/5G

MTN Goes to Court Over $10B Demands in Nigeria

Article Image
MTN's relationship with the Nigerian authorities has deteriorated further with news that the network operator, frustrated with sometimes contradictory financial demands from the Nigerian authorities that run to US$10.1 billion, has taken the issues to court.

MTN has been slapped with a request for the "return" of $8.1 billion in dividend payments that were allegedly improperly repatriated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). In addition, the office of Nigeria's Attorney General has demanded $2 billion in "alleged unpaid taxes on foreign payments and imports." The Attorney General has also demanded that the $8.1 billion request also be directed through his office, contrary to the Central Bank's requests.

In addition, MTN notes that four commercial banks in Nigeria have been slapped with fines for their alleged involvement in the dividend repatriation and handling of the tax affairs, and that those fines amount to… $8.1 billion.

All of which lends the entire affair a very unhealthy smell.

MTN, of course, has denied any wrongdoing and refuted all claims: "MTN remain resolute that MTN Nigeria has not committed any offences and will continue to vigorously defend its position," the operator noted in a statement to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

MTN, which has been planning an IPO of shares in its Nigerian operation, now feels compelled to apply to the Federal High Court of Nigeria "for injunctive relief restraining the CBN and the AGF [Attorney General] from taking further action in respect of their orders."

The CBN has been making conciliatory noises of late, and local media reported that the CBN had arranged meetings with MTN to discuss the dividend repatriation matter.

But this affair, in addition to hammering MTN's share price, will raise a red flag for any overseas company thinking of investing and doing business in Nigeria. Even if the Central Bank or Attorney General's office manage to wrangle some cash out of MTN, the negative impact on the country's economy is likely to be much greater.

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading for Connecting Africa.

Innovation hub

Story

SA's smart city finalists win big for innovation

South Africa's City of Johannesburg's Smart City Office has awarded four innovators R500,000 (US$31,434) for their innovative solutions.

Story

Hot startup of the month: Data science marketplace Zindi

This month's hot startup is social enterprise Zindi, which is a professional network for data science in Africa.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: May 2022

By Omdia Analysts

SpaceX-owned Starlink's plans to launch a satellite broadband service in Africa was a major highlight in May 2022, says Omdia's analysts.

Story

Omdia View: April 2022

By Omdia Analysts

This month's Omdia View highlights indicate a shift to digital transformation and operational consolidation to maximize return on investments.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Flash poll

All polls

Archived webinars

Africa Green ICT: Lighting Up a Sustainable Continent

The ICT industry is the leading industry in the commitment to carbon neutrality, whose focus has shifted from setting ambitious targets to taking initiatives. The push for zero-carbon and for green energy development, it isn't just about CSR – it's also good for sustainable business.

The path to sustainable development requires green energy. Governments are looking at potential policy approaches to make green energy more widely available and affordable. Without sustainable energy, there will be no digital transformation and no chance of making Africa more economically competitive in the post-pandemic era.

Africa Green ICT Webinar 2022 will bring together ICT industry leaders and senior industrial analysts to provide insight, best practices and key learnings on how to achieve zero-carbon targets and practice green development in Africa.

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

AfricaCom perspectives

Story

Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.

Story

Accelerating women in STEM: In conversation with GirlCode's Tinyiko Simbine

GirlCode co-founder and CFO Tinyiko Simbine talks about why it's important to help girls and young women excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Story

How Poa Internet is unlocking meaningful connectivity in East Africa

Poa Internet's CEO Andy Halsall shares his views on what it takes to develop last-mile connectivity and get Africans online in a meaningful way.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up