The most recent woes of the MTN Group* in Nigeria remind me of similar, albeit much smaller, shakedowns I have experienced in my travels across Africa in the past few years. The Nigerian government would have us believe MTN has stolen $8.1bn of its own money out of Nigeria over a period of 10 years. This comes after the record $5.2bn fine in 2015. The Central Bank has also grabbed R75m from Standard Bank’s account as punishment for facilitating the MTN "theft". It’s also the second time Standard Bank has suffered at the hands of Nigerian regulators, who seem to see SA companies as soft targets for extortion. It would seem that these SA companies are being unfairly targeted by Nigeria, which is having its own problems funding government expenditure. Oil prices were at a low when Nigeria hit MTN with that $5.2bn fine. Things haven’t changed much for government revenues. Nigeria seems determined to abuse its status as MTN’s largest consumer market. I was with a tourist party, admiring ...

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