The Chief Financial Officer of MTN, Ralph Mupita, said MTN wants to reduce its majority stake in its Nigerian market after the numerus disputes with the government in the past years.

The Nigerian market is the largest of MTN’s operations.

MTN is currently a 79% stake in the Nigerian business and intends to sell 15% to local investors. The sale will be conducted in phases.

The CFO added that they are pursuing sale in smaller bits due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

MTN Nigeria was recently asked to return all improperly funds, and to also pay $2billion in backdated taxes.

This is almost a year after MTN listed the unit on the country’s stock exchange, valuing the business at $5 billion at the time.

He added that MTN has been preparing for an increase in data usage since more markets are going into lockdown.

Impact of COVID-19

MTN’s share price has been significantly affected by the pandemic. The share price reached a 15-year low last week.

Meanwhile, the CFO said they was preparing for a significant increase in data usage as more markets go into lockdown.

“We want to make sure that our networks have resilience and capacity. We are looking at where we can drive broader coverage,” he said.