MTN says claims that it illegally repatriated money from Nigeria are ‘unfounded’

MTN on Wednesday denied allegations “of improper repatriation of money out of Nigeria by the company”.

In a statement‚ it said it had been made aware of claims “made on the floor of the Senate that MTN had illegally repatriated $13.92-billion out of Nigeria over a period of 10 years in collusion with a number of commercial banks”.

BDlive reported that the news sent the share price down about 3% to close at R119.77‚ and that Nigeria’s senate said on Tuesday it would investigate the claim thoroughly.

In a brief statement‚ MTN Nigeria CEO Ferdi Moolman said: “The allegations made against MTN are completely unfounded and without any merit.”

Analysts expressed doubts about the veracity of the claims and how this had gone undetected for such a long time‚ especially since the Nigerian authorities had tight controls on foreign exchange.

The accusation comes a few months after MTN agreed to pay about $1-billion in a fine to the Nigerian government and to list its local unit on the country’s stock exchange.

 That penalty was levied for missing a deadline to disconnect 5.1-million unregistered customers in the country.

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