MTN Nigeria will pay the country’s Central Bank a total of $53 million in penalties related to allegations that the operator illegally repatriated revenue between 2007 and 2015.
In August last year, the Nigerian Central Bank ordered MTN to pay a fine of $8.1 billion over the allegations. MTN denied the charges and has submitted further documentation to the bank relating to the approvals in question. After receiving these, the bank has reduced the penalty after finding that the majority of its concerns over approvals had been addressed.
However, MTN failed to demonstrate that it had obtained the required approvals on a $1 billion share placement in 2008. To bring this matter to a close, the operator will pay CBN19.2 billion ($52.6 million) as a notional reversal for which it will not be required to admit liability.
In a statement, MTN said: “The CBN upon review of the additional documentation concluded that MTN Nigeria is no longer required to reverse the historical dividend payment made to MTN Nigeria shareholders.”
MTN will be glad to have brought the issue to a close; Nigeria is its largest market and the matter caused it significant problems there, in addition to sending its share price tumbling.
The group recently resolved forked over a $1 billion fine in Nigeria after it failed to meet a deadline for disconnecting unregistered SIM cards two years ago, and it has not yet reached an agreement over the $2 billion tax bill it received last year.