SOUTH African telecoms giant MTN has denied an allegation made in the Nigerian Parliament that it had illegally repatriated $13.92 billion from that country.
Commenting after the upper house of Nigeria’s parliament resolved on Tuesday to investigate allegations of illegal repatriation of the money, MTN Nigeria chief executive Ferdi Moolman said: “The allegations made against MTN are completely unfounded and without any merit.”
Analysts say the allegation, which comes just three months after Africa’s biggest telecoms company agreed to pay a reduced fine of 330 billion naira (US$1.05bn) in a settlement with Abuja over unregistered SIM cards, will further strain relations between the two parties.
MTN is Nigeria’s largest mobile phone operator, with profits from that country accounting for a third of the company’s revenues. MTN had threatened to pull out of Nigeria during the dispute over unregistered SIM cards.
The issue was finally resolved after some intervention from the South African government and MTN’s pledge to pay a reduced fine.