The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has once again assured that that the $8.1 billion dispute between South African telecoms giant, MTN and the Nigerian central bank “is being resolved and very soon it will be over.”
Umar Garba Dambatta, executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, said Nigeria’s Government is disposed to an amicable resolution of the dispute.
The Government’s serious demands
Recall the leading South African telco ran into yet another trouble with the Nigerian authorities when in late August, the central Bank of Nigeria sanctioned the company for allegedly violating Nigeria’s extant laws.
According to the CBN, evidence had emerged about how MTN’s Nigeria subsidiary used irregular Certificates of Capital Importation (CCIs) to move a total of $8.1 billion to South Africa on behalf of MTN’s offshore investors.
The authorities then demanded that the telco return the money to the company or face further sanctions. MTN, however, denied the allegations. Ever since then, both parties have been seeking a more peaceful resolution of the conflict.
Although MTN had dragged the apex bank to a Federal High Court in Lagos. The presiding Judge this week adjourned the case till January 22nd 2019.
According to Reuters, the Judge’s decision to adjourn the case followed requests from legal counsels representing the Central Bank of Nigeria and MTN Group Limited.
In the meantime, the potential for an out of court settlement abounds. This is because one of the lawyers representing the telecoms company was quoted as saying that “we are still making moves towards an out of court settlement.”
It is important to mention that MTN Nigeria accounts for a third of MTN Group Limited’s market share in Africa.