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

Connecting Africa Podcast: S2 Ep. 4 – Agri-fintech, from kibbutz to Kenya

The Connecting Africa Podcast team speak to Israeli-Kenyan startup Avenews' co-founder and CEO, Shalom Ben-Or, about his fintech super-app that has been built specifically for Africa's agriculture industry.

Story

Hot startup of the month: Cloud-native developer Deimos

This month's hot startup is pan-African cloud technology and professional services company Deimos which is on a mission to be the leading cloud-native technology company in Africa.

More Innovation hub

Flash poll

All polls

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

Women in Tech: Spotlight on inclusivity with Digital Council Africa's Juanita Clark

Digital Council Africa founder and CEO, Juanita Clark, talks to Connecting Africa as part of our Women's Month series about her career and what needs to be done to make the tech industry intentionally inclusive.

Story

Women in Tech: Spotlight on legal tech with Life.file's Sinal Govender

Life.file co-founder, Sinal Govender, talks to Connecting Africa as part of our Women's Month series about her career and how we can encourage more young girls to enter the legal tech field.

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.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Latest video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: July 2022

By Omdia Analysts

Kenya and Zambia move towards 5G with new spectrum allocations while Tunisie Telecom plans to shut down its 3G network - that and more in this month's Omdia View.

Story

Omdia View: June 2022

By Omdia Analysts

5G was the major news trend across Africa in June, as Orange became the first operator to launch 5G in Réunion and operators in Senegal accelerated their 5G plans despite spectrum delays.

More Guest Perspectives

Sponsored video

More videos

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up