A hearing in the court case between MTN and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in a disagreement over the alleged repatriation of $8.1 billion by the telecommunication company has been set for October 30, MTN’s lawyer, Wole Olanipekun, has said.
Olanipekun said it on Friday that MTN denied claims that it depleted Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves.
Recall that CBN had in late August alleged that MTN repatriated a total of $8.1 billion from the country through illegal means.
The financial regulator further directed the telco to refund the money and imposed a combined fine of N5.87 billion on four banks – Standard Chartered Plc, Citigroup Inc., Stanbic IBTC Plc and Diamond Bank Plc – that allegedly aided the process.
Nigeria is MTN’s biggest market and accounts for a third of its annual core profit. This explains why the claim which led to the dispute between the two parties wiped as much as 36 percent off MTN’s market value within two weeks.
The CBN had said in its counterclaim to the court that MTN contributed to depleting the country’s reserves through the purchase of dollars via unapproved certificates. MTN however denied any wrongdoing.
Crude oil is Nigeria main source of foreign exchange earnings, the nation’s external reserves was greatly depleted in 2016 following the drop of crude oil prices in the international market.
This contributed to the sharp drop in the value of Naira and further led the country’s economy to a recession in the same year, which the country emerged from last year.