Due to the recent and ongoing investigations in the telecommunication giant’s financial activities, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed MTN Nigeria to stop paying dividends to its shareholders.
MTN Nigeria stated this in a letter to its shareholders that, “The CBN has instructed the banks to suspend any remittance of dividends until further notice. MTN Nigeria continues to refute the allegations that MTN Nigeria had improperly repatriated funds from Nigeria.” – this is however conflicting to the recent reports that MTN admitted to moving funds without complying with the 24-hour order for the issuance of CCI, saying it was practically impossible to do so.
The company had told the Senate Committee on Banks, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, that circumstances compelled it to move funds without observing the law.
According to the company, they will not be making dividend payments to shareholders over the next six months, and will continue to fight the allegations made against them.
President of the Ibadan branch of the Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Sola Abodunrin says, “If the dividend has been declared in an annual general meeting, MTN has no right to suspend it. The investigation that is going on is a different thing entirely. A dividend that has been declared must be paid.”
Recall that lawmakers – Senator Dino Melaye to be precise – in Nigeria accused telecommunication giant, MTN of illegally moving close to $14bn out of the country. The accusation came a short while after MTN agreed to pay a $1bn fine to the Nigerian government for missing the deadline to disconnect unregistered customers in the country.
As long as this issue isn’t politicized – if it isn’t already -, I am throwing my full weight behind the Nigerian government to met out full punishments of the law to them, IF FOUND GUILTY. I hope you are too.