The CBN in August 2018 directed MTN to reverse repatriations valued at $8.1 billion done on its behalf by four commercial banks between 2007 and 2015″
Omodele Adigun, with agency report
MTN Group has finally resolved the dispute on foreign exchange importation with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and made a $53 million payment, the telecoms company said in a message posted on Twitter yesterday.
CBN had said $8.1 billion in dividends paid by MTN Nigeria to its parent company between 2007 and 2015 in South Africa were illegal and should be returned.
While CBN had accused MTN of illegally transferring the funds out of the country, the firm denied any wrongdoing.
“MTN resolves Nigeria dividend issue, makes $53million payment, engaging with banks regarding the agreement,” it said on Twitter.
Meanwhile CBN in its response on Monday, said ‘an agreement reached with MTN over allegations that the South African company illegally repatriated $8.1 billion would end legal proceedings and meant the matter had been resolved.’
Earlier, MTN said the matter was resolved and it agreed to make a $53 million payment. The CBN did not refer to a figure but said the sides decided the agreement would “lead to amicable disposal of the pending legal suit between the parties and final resolution of the matter”.
A statement by its spokesman, Isaac Okorafor, titled ‘Amicable Resolution of Issues Relating to Foreign Exchange Remittances By MTN Nigeria Communications Limited’ read:
“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in August 2018 directed MTN Communications Limited (MTNN) to reverse repatriations valued at $8.1 billion done on its behalf by four commercial banks between 2007 and 2015 on the basis of Certificates of Capital Importation (CCIs) irregularly issued to MTN Nigeria.
“Following the keen interest shown by various stakeholders sequel to the regulatory action, the CBN committed to engage further with MTN Nigeria with a view to achieving an equitable resolution.
“Consequent upon the above, MTN Nigeria, led by its Nigerian shareholders, held intensive engagements with the CBN in the course of which it supplied additional material information, not previously offered to the bank, satisfactorily clarifying its remittances. “Having now reviewed the additional documentation provided by the company, the CBN has concluded that MTN Nigeria is no longer required to reverse the historical dividend payments made to MTN Nigeria shareholders.”
“However, the CBN identified that the proceeds from the preference shares in MTN Nigeria’s private placement remittances of 2008 were irregular having been based on CCIs that were issued without the final approval of CBN.
“The CBN and MTN Nigeria have mutually agreed that the aforementioned transaction be reversed notionally to bring it into full compliance with foreign exchange laws and regulations.
“The parties have resolved that execution of the terms of the agreement will lead to amicable disposal of the pending legal suit between the parties and final resolution of the matter. The CBN assures foreign investors that the integrity of the CCIs issued by authorised dealers remain sacrosanct.”
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