MTN confident of resolving its Nigeria dispute as it heads to court
SA government will intervene if MTN asks it to, telecommunications minister Siyabonga Cwele says
SA telecoms firm MTN Group said on Monday it is confident a multibillion-dollar dispute with the Nigerian government will be resolved even as it applied for a court injunction to protect its Nigerian assets. Nigeria’s central bank last month ordered MTN’s Lagos-based unit to hand over $8.1bn it said was illegally sent abroad, and the government this month handed MTN a $2bn tax bill. Some industry analysts see Nigerian politics as a factor in the pressure on MTN. President Muhammadu Buhari, who came to power in 2015 on promises to fight corruption and push through tougher regulation, is seeking re-election in 2019. “Nigeria is our largest market. We’ve been operating there since 2001,” MTN CEO Rob Shuter told reporters at the ITU Telecom World conference in Durban. “We do have some challenges these past few weeks but we believe we will be able to make our case and I’m sure we will move past that as soon as we can.” SA’s telecommunications minister, Siyabonga Cwele, said on the sideli...