At the commencement of investigative hearing into the alleged illegal repatriation of $13.9 billion out of the country by MTN, the company told the Senate Committee on Banks, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, that circumstances compelled it to move funds without observing the law.
The Senate had on September 27, 2016, alleged that MTN in connivance with the Minister of Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, and four commercial banks exploited the porous Nigerian financial system to move the money out of the country without the required authorization.
According to a motion moved by Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West) on September 27, MTN was alleged to have smartly beat Nigeria’s financial regulatory laws by failing to obtain a certificate of capital importation (CCI) as authorised by CBN Financial and Miscellaneous Act within 24 hours between 2006 and 2016 before moving the money out of the country.
It further alleged that the repatriation was done through four banks, viz: Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Diamond Bank and Citi Bank.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MTN, Fedi Moolman, has admitted that the company moved funds without complying with the 24-hour order for the issuance of CCI, saying it was practically impossible to do so.
He stated that the action was taken without any deliberate intention to flout Nigerian laws but was rather compelled to do so because of circumstances which he said made it impossible for it to observe the 24-hour provision in the Act for issuance of CCI.
He said: “There was no intention to flout the rule and regulation. The 24-hour rule is not in all cases practicable and it is almost impossible to comply with.”