MTN pays penalty, $8 billion row with Nigeria resolved


MTN. Nigeria said it has resolved a dispute with Africa’s largest mobile operator over $8.13 billion which it accused MTN of illegally repatriating to South Africa. (FILE PHOTO)

A dispute between Nigeria and MTN over $8.13 billion which the country accused Africa’s largest mobile operator of illegally repatriating to South Africa has been resolved.

Nigeria shocked MTN and the world in August this year when it ordered the telecom to refund the money, and fined four local commercial banks involved in the transfer.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) claimed the South African company had not obtained approval before transferring the funds between 2007 and 2015.

The row forced MTN’s shares to slump drastically.

According to The Citizen, South Africa’s daily, in a statement released on Monday, CBN said MTN had provided additional information and documents, clarifying its remittances.

Local media said the telecom had paid $53 million as a penalty to settle the matter with CBN, while further talks will be held with the banks that were penalised on how to deal with their sanctions.

Following the agreements between the two parties, all court cases pertaining to the matter would now be resolved, the central bank added.

MTN management was not immediately available for comment.

The sanction was the latest to hit MTN since it began operations in Nigeria 17 years ago.

It was fined $5.2 billion in 2015 by Nigeria’s telecoms regulator NCC for failing to disconnect unregistered SIM cards on its network.

The fine was later reduced to $1.7 billion after a series of negotiations with the Nigerian government.

Despite the challenges, MTN remains Africa’s largest mobile telecom operator.



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