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Finance Nigeria's central bank may reduce MTN's $8.1 billion repatriation demand

Emefiele said the documents submitted by the telecommunication firm and banks will help to make a decision in reducing the size of the claim.

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Nigeria's central bank may reduce MTN's 8.1 billion repatriation demand play Nigeria's Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele speaks during the monthly Monetary Policy Committee meeting in Abuja, Nigeria May 22, 2018. (REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde)

Nigeria's central bank may reduce the $8.1 billion it has ordered MTN Nigeria to refund in the repatriation dispute.

According to Reuters, Godwin Emefiele, the central bank governor, stated this while addressing reporters during a visit to London.

Emefiele said the documents submitted by the telecommunication firm and banks will help to make a decision in reducing the size of the claim at the top level.

He said the documents were received about two weeks ago.

I don’t think it will be staying at $8.1bn,” adding that he expected the issue to be dealt with amicably and equitably in a couple of weeks.

“I want to believe that the figure will reduce. Whether it will be dropped completely, I honestly cannot say at this time,” Reuters quoted him as saying.

ALSO READ: All you need to know as Nigeria’s central bank and MTN go head-to-head in new forex saga

The South African telecoms firm, MTN and four banks – Standard Chartered, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Citibank and Diamond Bank – are parties to the forex repatriation dispute.

MTN had filed a court case against the Nigerian authority and refused to comment on latest developments.

CBN counters MTN in court

Last week, court papers revealed a counter-claim by the Central Bank of Nigeria in an injunction filed by MTN over the refund of the $8.1 billion demand.

The apex bank also urged the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos to ensure MTN pay an annualised 15% interest until courts rule on the conflict.

In August 2018, CBN ordered Africa's telecoms giant, MTN and four other banks to “refund a total of $8.134billion moved out of the country" for breaching the country's forex regulations.

It also slammed a huge N5.8 billion fine on the banks for allegedly aiding MTN in the illegal capital repatriation.

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