South African telecoms giant — MTN — on Wednesday denied an allegation that it had illegally repatriated 13.92 billion dollars from Nigeria, saying the claim was without merit.
“The allegations made against MTN are completely unfounded and without any merit,” MTN Nigeria Chief Executive Ferdi Moolman, said in a statement in Johannesburg.
Lawmakers in the Upper House of Nigeria’s parliament agreed on Tuesday to investigate the allegation that MTN, Africa’s biggest telecoms company, illegally transferred the money out of Nigeria.
The allegation threatens to raise tensions between Nigeria and MTN just three months after the South African firm agreed to pay a reduced fine of N330 billion in a settlement over unregistered SIM cards following interventions by Presidents Muhammadu Buhari and Jacob Zuma .
The company had threatened to pull out of Nigeria during the dispute over unregistered SIM cards.
MTN is the largest mobile phone operator in Nigeria which accounts for about one third of the company’s revenues.
MTN shares fell more than three per cent on Tuesday, but opened one per cent firmer on Wednesday.