MTN said it complied with Nigerian fund transfer rules and did not send money out of the country until it obtained regulatory approvals.
The South African telecoms company in a statement by its Chief Executive Officer, Ferdi Moolman at the weekend also denied that it illegally repatriated $14billion. MTN requested “certificates of capital importation (CCI)” for capital brought into Nigeria and dividends were repatriated based on those investments, Moolman said in the statement made available to Daily Trust by the MTN Group Corporate Affairs.
“MTN Nigeria only requested for CCIs for foreign capital that was imported into Nigeria, and dividends were externalised on CCIs,” he said. The Senate last month agreed to investigate whether Africa’s biggest telecoms company unlawfully repatriated $13.92 billion between 2006 and 2016.
MTN’s Moolman, Nigerian Trade Minister, Okechukwu Elenemah and four lenders appeared at a parliamentary hearing on the matter on Thursday.
“Often for various reasons (such as not having all the required documentation for instance), it is not possible to issue a CCI within 24 hours, and the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Forex Manual contemplates such situations by asking that the banks refer to the CBN for approval. Besides, the requirement to issue a CCI within 24 hours of conversion is an administrative requirement. As such, the CBN has the authority, and indeed we believe, approved the banks’ applications to issue CCIs outside the recommended time frame,” Moolman said.
Senator Dino Melaye had proposed a motion calling for an investigation into MTN’s repatriation of funds.