MTN probe: Senate asks CBN to sanction IBTC over $587m repatriation
A Senate panel has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to sanction Stanbic IBTC, over improper documentations in respect of capital repatriation and loan repayments amounting to $587.6m involving Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN).
The Senate had in September, 2016 mandated its committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions to investigate the, “Unscrupulous Violation of the Foreign Exchange Act by MTN and others.”
The report of the committee chaired by Senator Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim (APC, Kwara South) has been presented to the Senate for consideration.
The committee: “Condemn the CBN for failing in its duty to bring forth those observed deficiencies of Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous), Act (FEMMA) for amendment rather than usurping the powers of the Senate by 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 respectively.”
The panel also mandated the CBN to investigate and report back to the Senate the activities of Stanbic IBTC nominees in the matter of shares, transfer and splitting.
It requested the apex bank 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 committee further directed the CBN to forthwith render periodic status reports to Senate on the performance of foreign investment inflows and outflows.
The investigation revealed that from 2001-2016, a total capital inflow of $1.2bn was injected for MTN operations in Nigeria.
However, it said MTN repatriated over $1.3bn annually since 2006, or $13.92bn between 2006 & 2016.
“Just for one company, the phenomenon constitutes a huge outflow that could pose challenges for foreign exchange and national monetary stability, “the committee revealed.
Our correspondent reports that no decision has been taken on the report, as the Senate resolved that the report be stepped down for further consultation and brought back on another legislative day.