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Tech MTN has denied CBN's claims over $8.1 billion capital repatriation, says Nigerian Senate has exonerated it from breaching FX laws

MTN stated that the apex bank duly approved all dividends it paid to its shareholders between 2007 and 2015.

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MTN is dragging Nigerian government to court over multibillion-dollar dispute play MTN Group CEO, Rob Shuter (MTN)

Africa’s largest mobile network operator, MTN, has denied claims by Nigeria's central bank over allegations that it “illegally moved $8.134 billion out of the country,” thereby breaching the country's forex regulations.

The telecoms giant in a statement released on Thursday, August 30, 2018, denied the allegations stating the apex bank duly approved all dividends it paid to its shareholders between 2007 and 2015.

The telco further stated that the Nigerian Senate had exonerated the company from breaching foreign exchange laws.

MTN Nigeria Communications Limited (MTN Nigeria) received a letter on 29 August 2018 from CBN alleging that CCI’s issued in respect of the conversion of shareholders loans in MTN Nigeria to preference shares in 2007 had been improperly issued. As a consequence, they claim that historic dividends repatriated by MTN Nigeria between 2007 and 2015 amounting to $8,1 billion need to be refunded to the CBN.

“MTN Nigeria strongly refutes these allegations and claims. No dividends have been declared or paid by MTN Nigeria other than pursuant to CCIs issued by our bankers and with the approval of the CBN as required by law.

“The issues surrounding the CCI’s have already been the subject of a thorough enquiry by the Senate of Nigeria. In September 2016 the Senate mandated the Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions to carry out a holistic investigation on compliance with the Foreign exchange (monitoring and miscellaneous) Act by MTN Nigeria & Others. In its report issued in November 2017, the findings evidenced that MTN Nigeria did not collude to contravene the foreign exchange laws and there were no negative recommendations made against MTN Nigeria,” the statement reads in part.

MTN Nigeria said it will remain law-abiding and committed to good governance and abide by the extant laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

MTN says it will engage with the relevant authorities and defend its position on the matter.

CBN slams fine on four banks

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

The regulatory authority said the bank issued irregular certificates of capital importation (CCIs) on behalf of some offshore investors of MTN Nigeria Communications Limited.

The apex bank thereby ordered MTN and four other banks to “refund a total of $8.134 billion.

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