Nigeria resolves $8bn row with MTN

Nigeria said it has resolved a dispute with Africa’s largest mobile operator over $8.13 billion which it accused MTN of illegally repatriating to South Africa.

Africa’s biggest telecoms market Nigeria shocked MTN and foreign investors in August when it ordered it to refund the money, and fined four commercial banks involved in the transfer.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) claimed the South African company had not obtained approval before transferring the funds between 2007 and 2015.

The row between the two forced MTN’s shares to slump drastically.

But in a statement late on Monday, the CBN said the telecoms group had provided additional information and documents, clarifying its remittances.

Local media said MTN had paid $53 million as a penalty to settle the matter with the CBN, while further talks will be held with the banks that were penalised on how to deal with their sanctions.

Following the agreements between the two parties, all court cases pertaining to the matter would now be resolved, the bank added.

MTN management was not immediately available for comment.

The sanction was the latest to hit MTN since it began operations in Nigeria 17 years ago.

It was fined $5.2 billion in 2015 by Nigeria’s telecoms regulator NCC for failing to disconnect unregistered SIM cards on its network.

The fine was later reduced to $1.7 billion after a series of negotiations with the Nigerian government.

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