$18b fine: MTN resumes talks with FG for fair deal


MTN drags Nigerian government to court over $1.3b withholding tax

Telecoms firm MTN is holding talks with Nigerian officials to find a “mutually acceptable solution” to the dispute over the alleged transfer of $8.1 billion, the firm said on Tuesday in a statement from Johannesburg.

 

It said further announcement on the issue would be made in due course, advising “shareholders to continue to exercise caution when dealing in the company’s securities until a further announcement is made.”

 

MTN and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are in a dispute over the transfer of $8.1 billion which the bank said the company had sent abroad and breaches foreign-exchange regulations.

 

But CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said while addressing reporters on October 7 in London that the CBN may reduce the amount it had ordered MTN Nigeria to repatriate.

 

Emefiele said new documents provided by the telecom company would help to reduce the size of the claim.

 

“I don’t think it will be staying at $8.1billion. I want to believe that the figure will reduce. Whether it will be dropped completely, I honestly cannot say at this time,” he added.

 

The CBN chief said the apex bank had received documents about four weeks ago from MTN and four lenders involved in the case.

 

The lenders are Standard Chartered, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Citibank and Diamond Bank.

 

Emefiele said the apex bank was in communication with all parties involved.

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