Telecommunications giant, MTN has admitted contravening laws regulating the transfer of huge funds out of the country without obtaining a Certificate Of Capital Importation (CCI) before the Senate according to its chief security adviser, Fedi Moolman.
The Senate committee on Banks, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, on Thursday, October 20, 2016 commenced investigation into the alleged transfer of $13.92 billion out of Nigeria by telecommunication giant MTN and some Nigerian banks between 2006 and 2016.
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; Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Diamond Bank and Citi Bank, exploited the porous Nigerian financial system to move the money out of the country without the required authorisation.
The committee invited the management of the MTN and other stakeholders for questioning during the meeting.
While Moolman 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, Enelamah defied the committee’s directive not to leave before testifying as he instead walked out of the meeting venue before its commencement.
Moolman however stated that the action to move the funds 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.
The CEO further told the committee that MTN faced acute challenges when it got to Nigeria in 2000 as it found out that necessary facilities for business transactions were not available, a situation he said compelled it to import equipment to Nigeria.
Enelamah had earlier denied having any link with the transfer saying the allegations were “without merit and baseless”.