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Tech MTN is dragging the Nigerian government to court over a multi billion-dollar dispute

MTN Nigeria said it has filed for 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.

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MTN Nigeria said it is seeking legal intervention in the matter concerning demands from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the office of the Attorney General of the Federation on foreign exchange repatriation and taxes.

Two weeks ago, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) demanded the refund of $8.1 billion 'improper' moved out of the country "to the coffers”.

5 days after, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) also notified the company of the government’s intent to recover $2 billion in back taxes.

Allegations which the African mobile phone company denied.

In a statement released on Monday, MTN Nigeria said it has filed for 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.

The company frowned at the “accompanying negative publicity that has followed the issues in the last two weeks.”

Tobe Okigbo, Corporate Relations Executive, MTN Nigeria, said, “With situations like this, it is vital for both the government, regulators and the company to have absolute clarity on the nature of both the allegations being made and the processes that are being followed. In the absence of this clarity, our only option is to seek judicial intervention and to ask the courts to act as adjudicator. This has been done today.”

Speaking further about the development, Okigbo said “The allegations being made involve issues that appear to be complex and so are easily misunderstood and misinterpreted. They are made even more confusing when the relevant authorities send conflicting messages and instructions and act in a way that appears un-coordinated and at cross purposes.

“The simple reality is that MTN Nigeria has never repatriated dividends on the CCIs referenced by the CBN and that MTN is fully compliant with Nigerian tax law,
” he said.

MTN will refund demand in dollar terms

In a phone conversation with Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa last Thursday, Isaac Okoroafor, CBN's spokesperson, said the monetary authority is key to the issue and MTN will have to return the dollar equivalent of the $8.1 billion.

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