Nigerian lawmakers have invited South African telecommunications giant, MTN, over the alleged illegal transfer of $14 billion out of the country.
MTN are supposed to appear before the Nigerian Senate’s committee on banking, insurance and financial institutions along with the trade minister and four lenders for the investigative hearing on October 20.
The four lenders involved are Stanbic IBTC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Citibank and Diamond Bank. The company and trade minister Okechukwu Elenemah have denied any wrongdoing.
The telecoms giant through its Chief Executive Officer in Nigeria, Ferdi Moolman stated that the illegal transfer claim was without merit.
“The allegations made against MTN are completely unfounded and without any merit,” he said.
The allegation according to industry watchers threatens to raise tensions between Nigeria and MTN three months after the company agreed to pay a reduced fine of 330 billion naira in a settlement with the government over unregistered SIM cards.
MTN is the largest mobile phone operator in Nigeria, which accounts for around one third of the company’s revenues. The company had threatened to pull out of Nigeria during the dispute over unregistered SIM cards.