Three years after facing a record-breaking $5.2 billion fine in Nigeria, South Africa’s telecommunications giant, MTN, has again been fined by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the tune of $8.134 billion over foreign exchange infractions.
According to CBN officials who spoke to ARISE News Channel Wednesday, the fine was imposed on the Nigerian subsidiary of MTN for what the officials termed irregular foreign exchange remittances to its parent company in South Africa through four Nigerian banks.
The banks – Standard Chartered Bank (StanChart), Stanbic IBTC Limited (Stanbic), Citibank and Diamond Bank Plc – were used by MTN to import the sum of $402.5 million between 2001 and 2006 to fund its investments in Nigeria by way of inter-company loans and equity investments.
However, ARISE News learnt that MTN never obtained CCIs when it started doing business in Nigerian in 2001.
Yet, the company went ahead to covert the $402.5 million into preference shares and CCIs were issued by StanChart, Citibank and Diamond Bank respectively, to enable the MTN Nigerian subsidiary to remit monies to its parent company in South Africa to the tune $8.134 billion.