A man passes an MTN board in Lagos, Nigeria. Picture: AFP PHOTO/PIUS UTOMI EKPEI
A man passes an MTN board in Lagos, Nigeria. Picture: AFP PHOTO/PIUS UTOMI EKPEI

MTN says its Nigerian business, which listed in Lagos in May as the group sought to appease regulators in that market, has replaced its chair and five other non-executive directors who have been on the board for nearly two decades.

“As part of the board evolution, following the listing by introduction, MTN Nigeria has announced the retirement of its long-serving non-executive directors,” the group said.

On September 2, Pascal Dozie will step down as chair and Sani Bello as vice chair. Victor Odili, Mallam Ahmed Dasuki, Babatunde Folawiyo and Gbenga Oyebode will step down as non-executives. 

The six directors had made “extensive contributions to the success of the company since their appointment in 2001”, MTN said.

Ernest Ndukwe will take over as chair in September, while Michael Onochie Ajukwu and Muhammad K Ahmad will join as independent non-executive directors.

Andrew Alli, Omobola Johnson, AB Mahmoud and Ifueko Okauru will be made non-executive directors. 

MTN’s shares crashed in August 2018 after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it wanted MTN to return $8.1bn (R120bn) in dividends.

That announcement, and a separate $2bn demand for back-taxes from Nigeria’s attorney-general, sent MTN’s shares below R70 by mid-September 2018.

While the company reached a settlement with Nigeria’s central bank in late December — the $8.1bn claim was reduced to $53m — the tax case is yet to be resolved, though MTN says its tax affairs are in order.

MTN’s shares have fully recovered from the sharp sell-off.

Analysts say the local listing could help to appease regulators in Nigeria. 

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za