MTN versus Nigeria

MTN’s misadventures in Nigeria have become a cautionary tale for multinationals and governments in the region – but for which side is still a matter of some debate.

Despite the telecoms company’s successful negotiation to reduce a record $5.2bn regulatory fine to around $1.7bn in June, a new parliamentary investigation could bring further headaches.

The wrangling is being watched warily by other multinationals operating in Nigeria’s troubled economy, which sank into recession in August.

After the initial settlement a number of Nigerian parliamentarians, displeased with what they believe was a lenient deal with MTN, promised further action.

Now, it seems, they are going to deliver: at the end of September, Senator Dino Melaye claimed the South African telecoms giant illegally moved some $14bn out of Nigeria over several years.

The company denies all wrongdoing.

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