MTN Nigeria’s largest mobile carrier might be looking at shelving its perennial plan to list its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE.
It would be recalled that the Nigerian government alongside the CBN has requested that MTN must pay a cumulative of $10.1 billion to Nigeria for illegal funds repatriation to South Africa, its home country and unpaid taxes in the last four years.
MTN has since defended itself, dismissing the demands as untrue. The mobile carrier has since sued the government of Nigeria, requesting the Federal High Court to restrain Nigeria from taking any action or imposing sanctions that could hamper its operations.
While Nigeria’s telecoms regulator, the National Communications Commission, NCC, has waded into the impasse, there are indications that the the company might be reconsidering its other plans which includes its listing on the NSE.
MTN Nigeria had agreed to list about 30% of its ordinary shares on the NSE after the Nigerian government agreed to cut down its regulatory fines down to $3.9 billion.
The likelihood of another suspension of the listing was confirmed by Ralph Mupita, MTN’s CEO in South Africa who spoke to Reuters that the planned listing is “pretty challenging and awkward.”
We are not sitting here saying the listing is off. The listing is to remain on track,” he told CNBC Africa television.
“It makes the IPO that we had planned pretty challenging and awkward but we have got to explore other options of continuing to meet the listing requirements,” he said.
“We are going to engage with a variety of authorities,” Mupita said. “We will seek engagements at the highest level in the central bank and AGF.”