MTN’s alleged $13.9bn scandal: Senate indicts CBN, wants Stanbic IBTC sanctioned

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The Senate has blamed the Central Bank of Nigeria in its investigation of the alleged illegal repatriation of $13.9bn by the telecommunication giant, MTN.

Adopting the report by the Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions on the probe at the plenary on Wednesday, the Senate accused the CBN of laxity, leading to sharp practices by commercial banks.

The chamber had, in October 2016, begun a probe into the allegation that MTN illegally transferred a total sum of $13.9bn from Nigeria to other countries between 2006 and 2016.

The Senate panel had summoned the CBN, MTN management, the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, three commercial banks and some businessmen over alleged violation of the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous) Act to a public hearing where they made counter-claims.

The recommendations by the panel were unanimously approved by the lawmakers.

They include, to “condemn the Central Bank of Nigeria for failing in its duty to bring forth those observed deficiencies of FEMMA for amendment rather than granting extensions and exemptions, which became prone to abuses.

“Mandate the CBN to sanction Stanbic IBTC for improper documentations in respect of capital repatriation and loan repayments amounting to $388,195,183 and $199,440,952:07, respectively.

“Mandate the CBN to sanction the activities of Stanbic IBTC Nominees in the matter of shares transfer and splitting for the purpose of dividend repatriation.

“Mandate the CBN to come up with a proposal for the amendment of FEMMA, with a view to ensuring the growth of the economy through massive foreign capital inflow and greater retention of foreign exchange. The amendment is still ongoing in the Senate.

“Direct the CBN to forthwith render periodic status reports to Senate on the performance of foreign investments inflows and outflows.”

In his comment, Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi-West) said the findings by the panel had vindicated the Senate. Punch


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