CBN responds to panic by investors over allegations levelled against MTN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in response to foreign investors exiting the country, following allegations leveled against MTN, has denied rumors it would retroactively apply foreign exchange laws.

We assure all investors that the integrity of the CCI regime remains sacrosanct and there shall be no retroactive application of foreign exchange rules and regulations.

According to the statement

Innovations such as the introduction of the NAFEX window, and the delegation of the issuance of CCIs to commercial and merchant banks were done to instill confidence in the investor community and encourage the flow of foreign direct and portfolio investments into the Nigerian economy.

According to nairametrics, Foreign investors in the stock market had been selling down their holdings in response to rumors the CBN would embark on a retroactive application of foreign exchange laws pertaining to the certificate of capital importations (CCIs).

Resolution in the offing? 

The apex bank also hinted at a possible resolution.

In response to the recent regulatory actions, the Banks and MTN are engaging the CBN and have provided additional information which is currently being reviewed with a view to arriving at an equitable resolution.

The apex bank had last month fined four banks a total of ₦5.86 billion for breaching Nigeria’s extant laws and forex rules when they facilitated what it termed ‘illegal repatriation of funds’ to South Africa on behalf of MTN. The telco and the banks involved have denied any form of wrongdoing.

MTN also went a step further by taking the CBN and the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to court. The move according to the firm was in order to protect MTN Nigeria’s assets and shareholders’ rights within the confines of Nigerian law.

The AGF had accused the firm of failing to pay taxes amounting to $2.0 billion. The taxes span over a ten-year period and are related to the importation of foreign equipment into the country as well as payments to the suppliers of the said equipment.

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