The Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) said there has been amicable resolution of issues relating to foreign exchange remittances by MTN Nigeria Communications Limited. With the resolution, a pending court case filed by the telecommunications company is to be dissolved. The CBN had, in August 2018, directed MTN Nigeria to reverse repatriations valued at $8.1 billion done on its behalf by four commercial banks between 2007 and 2015 on the basis of Certificates of Capital Importation (CCIs) irregularly issued to MTN. The four banks were also penalised by the apex bank. The regulator debited the accounts of Standard Chartered Bank with N2.4 billion, Stanbic IBTC N1.88 billion, Citibank Nigeria N1.2 billion and Diamond Bank N250 million for being parties to the unlawful transfer.

However, the CBN, in a statement by its Director of Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, said the keen interest shown by various stakeholders sequel to the regulatory action, prompted the CBN to engage further with MTN with a view to achieving an equitable resolution. “Consequent upon the above, MTN, led by its Nigerian shareholders, held intensive engagements with the CBN in the course of which it supplied additional material information, not previously offered to the bank, satisfactorily clarifying its remittances.

“Having now reviewed the additional documentation provided by the company, the CBN has concluded that MTN is no longer required to reverse the historical dividend payments made to MTN Nigeria shareholders. “However, the CBN identified that the proceeds from the preference shares in MTNN’s private placement remittances of 2008 were irregular, having been based on CCIs that were issued without the final approval of CBN.

The CBN and MTNN have mutually agreed that the aforementioned transaction be reversed notionally to bring it into full compliance with foreign exchange laws and regulations,” the CBN stated. The apex bank said the parties have resolved that execution of the terms of the agreement will lead to amicable disposal of the pending legal suit between the parties and final reso-lution of the matter. The CBN assured foreign investors that the integrity of the CCIs issued by authorized dealers remain sacrosanct. “Potential investors are encouraged to take advantage of the enormous investment opportunities that abound within Nigeria,” it said. A Federal High Court in Lagos had, last week, granted MTN Nigeria and CBN till January 22, for a report of settlement talks in the reparation dispute. Justice Saliu Saidu adjourned till January 22, after parties prayed for more time to forge a deal. At the last hearing of the suit on December 4, the parties told the judge that they were exploring an out-of-court agreement following which the suit was adjourned for report of settlement.

Source: New Telegraph

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