Regulator Announces That MTN, Nigerian Central Bank Dispute Is Close To Resolution

The Nigerian telecoms regulator has announced that the $8.1 billion dispute between the Nigerian Central Bank and MTN is being resolved and will very soon be over.

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, declared to journalists in Abuja that Nigeria's government is seeking an amicable resolution for the matter.

This follows the recent postponement of a court hearing regarding the legal scuffle between the Central Bank and the South African telecoms giant to 22 January 2019.
The dispute is over the alleged illegal transfer of $8.1 billion of funds which the Central Bank said the company had sent overseas in a breach of Nigeria’s foreign-exchange regulations.
MTN has vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

Nigeria is MTN's largest market as it accounts for a third of the South African company's annual total profit. The mobile phone operator currently serves over 56 million people in Nigeria.

The adjournment is said to have been requested by both the Central Bank and MTN’s lawyers.
A central bank lawyer had told the court that the two parties involved were still making moves towards an out of court settlement.
An MTN lawyer said that those discussions were ongoing.

The case involving CBN is not the only legal trouble that MTN has been embroiled in, in Nigeria. The service provider also had a number of licencing fines from the NCC that totalled up to N330 billion ($900 000 000,00).
The NCC’s Prof. Danbatta was happy to confirm that to date MTN had already paid N165billion ($451 000 000, 00) out of those fines imposed on it.
He said that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was working tirelessly to find amicable solutions to the challenges facing MTN.

He added that the government was adopting a flexible outlook on issues that have severe effects on the economy.

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