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Investors watch on as Nigerian court settles MTN's $8.1 billion dispute

A Nigerian court adjourns hearing on the case between South African telecoms firm MTN Group and Nigeria’s central bank to December 4, 2018.

MTN Group CEO, Rob Shuter
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The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, Nigeria, had fixed October 30, 2018, for a hearing while that against Nigeria's attorney general was fixed for November 8, 2018.

MTN Nigeria had in a statement said it decided to file an injunctive relief from the Federal High Court in Lagos, against any further steps by the CBN and the AGF until the matter is resolved.

It also informed investors and shareholders to take caution when dealing in the company’s securities until a further announcement is made.

Nigerian court adjourns till December 4

A Lagos judge adjourned a hearing on Tuesday between South African telecoms firm MTN Group and Nigeria’s central bank to December 4, 2018, Reuters reports.

Although the firm confirmed it is in talks with the Nigerian government over the matter but frowned at the “accompanying negative publicity that has followed the issues.”

“We have continued engagement with authorities, exchanging documentation and there is genuine will to reach an amicable situation,” Reuters quoted Rob Shuter, MTN CEO as saying during a conference call on the group's financial results on Monday.

“However, we need to protect ourselves and we are relying on the courts in Nigeria to make sure there’s an amicable resolution.”

“Tomorrow (Tuesday) we are likely to have an adjourned date because more information will likely be requested, however, it is important to create an environment to look for continued solutions.”

Despite all these challenges, the Nigerian unit of the MTN Group Ltd. remains the firm's largest market in Africa with an increasing double-digit growth in service revenue by 17.4% year-on-year.

According to the third-quarter financial report released on Monday, October 29, 2018, the strong performance was led by a 52.5% increase in data revenue and 21.5% increase in outgoing voice revenue.

Shuter said will remain committed to the listing in Nigeria and continue to engage extensively with Nigerian authorities.

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