MTN Nigeria has explained that it was impossible to follow the provisions of the law on the issuance of Certificates of Capital Importation (CCI) before it repatriated $13.9 billion out of Nigeria. In a statement signed by its Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ferdi Moolman, to explain MTN’S position on CCIs issuance in the case of alleged repatriation of funds out of the country, the company stated that no dividends were declared or paid until the CCIs were issued and finalised.
According to the statement, MTN Nigeria only requested for CCIs for foreign capital that was imported into Nigeria, and dividends were externalised on CCIs.
“Often for various reasons (such as not having all the required documentation for instance), it is not possible to issue a CCI within 24 hours, and the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Forex Manual contemplates such situations by asking that the banks refer to the CBN for approval,” the statement stated.
“Besides, the requirement to issue a CCI within 24 hours of conversion is an administrative requirement. As such, the CBN has the authority and, indeed we believe, approved the banks’ applications to issue CCIs outside the recommended time frame.”
The MTN chief executive officer explained that most of the monies moved out of the economy were for importation of necessary equipment for its operations in Nigeria.
It will recalled Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi west federal constituency, had in September accused MTN of flouting Nigerian laws by failing to obtain a (CCI) as authorised by CBN Financial and Miscellaneous Act within 24 hours before moving out $13.9 billion out of the country, a transaction that is currently being investigated by the upper house.