The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has ordered the suspension of MTN Group dividend payment from the Nigerian subsidiary of the telecommunications giant, until further notice.
Addressing the latest developments on the alleged illegal repatriation of $13.97 million by the Group, MTN said the CBN had ordered the four commercial banks operated by MTN to suspended dividend payout from Nigeria.
The Company’s Executive Officer Fedi Moolman, had last week admitted that the telecommunications giant moved funds out of Nigeria without obtaining a certificate of capital importation (CCI).
He told the Nigerian Senate that the action to move the funds was taken without any deliberate intention to flout Nigerian laws but was rather compelled to do so because of circumstances, which he said made it impossible for it to observe the 24-hour provision in the Act for issuance of certificate of capital importation.
A statement from MTN read, “In the interim, the CBN has instructed the banks to suspend any remittance of dividends until further notice. MTN Nigeria continues to refute the allegations that MTN Nigeria had improperly repatriated funds from Nigeria.
“Consequently, MTN Nigeria will strongly defend any action that would be prejudicial to its interest. MTN Nigeria has no intention to make any dividend payments over the next six months.”
The Nigerian Senate had last month alleged that MTN in connivance with the Minister of Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, and four commercial banks; Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Diamond Bank and Citi Bank exploited the porous Nigerian financial system to move the money out of the country without the required authorisation.
The Senate began public hearing on the matter last week