Nigerian court battle with MTN postponed
Nigeria’s attorney-general says the telecoms giant owes a total of R10.1bn, about 80% of its market valuation
Lagos — On Thursday, a Lagos judge adjourned a hearing in a $2bn dispute between MTN Group and Nigeria’s attorney-general until December 3.
MTN faces a $2bn tax demand from the country’s attorney-general, a claim the company has said is without merit. The central bank has also accused the firm of illegally sending $8.1bn abroad, which MTN has also denied.
Africa’s biggest telecoms firm, which makes about a third of its annual core profit in Nigeria, currently has a market valuation of roughly $12bn. The two disputes total $10.1bn.
The South African Reserve Bank, on Wednesday, said the country’s financial stability was threatened by the demands made of the telecoms firm by Nigerian authorities.
At the hearing next month, MTN will make its case that Nigeria’s attorney-general exceeded his powers in demanding $2bn in taxes and charges.
In a separate hearing on December 4, MTN will make its case in court against the central bank’s demand for the return to Nigeria of $8.1bn it said was illegally taken out of the country.