CBN changes tone on MTN

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Speaking in London, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has announced the apex bank and telecoms operator MTN are working towards a resolution of the USD8.1 million claim that had drummed up sentiments in Nigeria and South Africa.

TechCity in August 2018 reported that CBN accused MTN and four banks – Standard Chartered Plc, Citigroup Inc., Stanbic IBTC Plc and Diamond Bank Plc, of illegally repatriating $8.1 million – which CBN has directled MTN to return. It has also fined the banks a total of $16 million.

Emefiele told reporters the new information provided by MTN and its banks would help cut the size of the claim and that the matter would be resolved amicably.

He said: “I don’t think it will be at $8.1 billion having provided documents. My staff is studying the documents and a decision will be made on the matter in a couple of weeks.”

“They will see they have been given a fair hearing,” Emefiele said. “More information has been provided and I’m very optimistic that matters are going to be resolved amicably.”

Emefiele he decried the unnecessary international escalation of the rue with MTN. He however added that the Nigerian market is open to investors, adding that the disagreement with MTN  is an isolated exception.

“This is not a matter that should have blown so openly,” he said. “Nigeria is a country that happens to be very, very open.”

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