MTN Nigeria has paid the sum of $53 million (N19.2 billion) to settle a dispute with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over alleged irregularities of repatriated funds.
Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, made the disclosure during the apex bank’s monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.
Emefiele said the money paid by MTN was a “notional sum” and that the company has been absolved from any wrongdoing.
“I am glad to tell you in November we held a round of meetings with MTN officials even from South-Africa and by December we concluded those engagements and the matters were resolved,” he said.
“It resulted in a notional reversal. Let me make it clear that it is not a fine or a penalty. It was a notional reversal of 53 million dollars amounting to about N19.5 billion.
“This amount has since been paid by the MTN and terms of settlement of this matter has already been lodged at the Nigerian court.”
In August of that year, the apex bank had fined Citibank, Diamond Bank, Stanbic IBTC Nigeria and Standard Chartered Bank, a total of N5.8 billion for allegedly issuing irregular certificates of capital importation (CCIs) to MTN, and ordered the telco to refund the $8.1 billion to its coffers.
The telco in a statement denied any wrongdoing, saying that it had provided additional documentation to the apex bank
The long-standing issue had affected MTN’s share price, dragging to its lowest level since 2006.