After settling dispute with FG, MTN Group’s board pays President Buhari a visit

MTN Group Limited’s Chairman, Mcebisi Jonas, was in Abuja on Tuesday when he visited President Muhammadu Buhari. The surprise visit came just weeks after the office of Nigeria’s Attorney General withdrew a $1.2 billion demand it made from MTN Nigeria, being money the telecoms company allegedly owed in back taxes.

In a press statement that was issued via the official Twitter page of Federal Ministry of Communications & Digital Economy, the Minister of Communications (Dr Isa Pantanmi) led Mr Jonas and the rest of the MTN delegates on the visit to the Nigerian leader.

Pictures shared from the visit showed that Ferdinand Moolman, the CEO of MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, as well as Ernest Ndukwe, the Chairman, were among the MTN delegates. The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Communications Commission, Prof Garba Danbatta, was also present.

While receiving the MTN delegates, President Buhari was said to have thanked them for the courtesy call. He also urged MTN to align itself with Nigeria’s digital economy policy and strategy.

Speaking further, President Buhari told the telecoms company to work alongside Nigerian regulators towards providing quality broadband and voice services to Nigerians, albeit at affordable rates.

Note that Nigeria is one of MTN Group’s biggest markets, accounting for a sizable portion of its annual revenue. However, the company has also faced a lot of regulatory difficulties here. Recall that Nigeria made the $1.2 billion demand from MTN Nigeria back in September 2018, shortly after the company was ordered by the Central Bank of Nigeria to return the sum of $8.1 billion which it was accused of illegally remitting to South Africa.

MTN refuted the claim from the Attorney General before instituting a legal action in this regard. Earlier this month, the company announced that it would be withdrawing the suit after the office of the Attorney General of the Federation withdrew its demand.

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