It has been alleged by the Nigerian Senate that MTN Nigeria illegally moved $13.92 billion (R187 billion) out of Nigeria over the last 10 years.
The allegations were made at a plenary session yesterday by Senator Dino Melaye.
“MTN has moved over $12 billion out of Nigeria and that is about half of our external reserves,” Melaye was quoted as saying in a report by All Africa.
The senator alleged that the repatriation of funds involved not only the mobile network operator but four Nigerian banks and a Nigerian minister. These four banks include Citigroup, Standard Chartered, Stanbic IBTC Holdings and Diamond Bank.
MTN “strongly refutes” allegations
In response to the allegations, the MTN Group has sent out a statement to shareholders this morning.
“The allegations made against MTNN (MTN Nigeria) are completely unfounded and without any merit”, MTN Nigeria chief executive officer, Ferdi Moolman in the statement.
On the back of these allegations, IOL reports that MTN shares fell 3.4% at the close of market yesterday. This is the steepest decline since 2nd August and puts the firms value at around R221 billion.
Earlier this year, MTN agreed to pay R21.1 billion to the Nigeria government as penance for not disconnecting 5.1 million unregistered and improperly registered SIM cards. The original amount for the fine was approximatly R72.2 billion.[Via – All Africa][Image – CC BY 2.0 Brian Turner]