MTN Nigeria’s listing delayed by CBN, AGF accusations – CEO
The Chief Executive Officer and President of the MTN Group, Rob Shuter, says the listing of the company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange has been challenged by accusations by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Attorney General of the Federation.
However, he gave an assurance that the company was committed to the listing in Nigeria and would continue to work towards it.
In his comments on the third-quarter report of the telco published on Monday, the CEO stressed that discussions to resolve the issues with the Nigerian authorities were ongoing.
Shuter stated, “MTN Nigeria’s plans to list have been challenged by the recent Central Bank of Nigeria and the Attorney General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s matters; however, MTN remains committed to the listing in Nigeria and work continues in this regard.
“In the quarter, the group engaged extensively with authorities in Nigeria to deal with the matters they raised. Across our markets, we continued to invest in our networks, and now have the leading network net promoter score in 10 of our markets.”
The company advised its shareholders to continue to exercise caution when dealing in the company’s securities until a further announcement would be made.
The CBN had in August asked MTN Nigeria to refund the sum of $8.1bn it claimed the firm repatriated illegally between 2007 and 2015.
The apex bank also imposed a total fine of N5.87bn on four banks – Standard Chartered, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Citibank and Diamond Bank – for allegedly remitting dividends with irregular Certificates of Capital Importation on behalf of MTN Nigeria.
Thereafter, the financial regulator debited the accounts of the banks for the funds transfer infringement despite their plea of no wrong-doing.
In response to the allegations, MTN pledged its commitment to Nigeria, saying it remained resolute that “the company has not committed any offenses and will continue to defend its position vigorously.”
Nigeria, which accounts for a third of the South African company’s annual core profit, is MTN’s biggest market.
Despite the forex repatriation dispute, the Nigerian unit of the company recorded a 17.4 per cent year-on-year growth in service revenue in the third quarter ended September 30, 2018.
The increased revenue, according to the firm’s report, was led by a 52.5 per cent increase in data revenue and 21.5 per cent increase in outgoing voice revenue.
Africa’s largest telecom company attributed the growth in data revenue to an increase in active data subscribers, rising use of smartphones on the network as well as the CVM and OEM-partnership initiatives.