MTN infractions: CBN debits four banks N5.87b

The banks were accused by the CBN of issuing irregular Certificates of Capital Importation on behalf of some offshore investors of MTN Nigeria Communications Limited

The Central Bank of Nigeria has debited the four banks it sanctioned over the breaching of its capital importation policy of N5.87 billion.
The banks affected are Standard Chartered Bank, N2.4 billion; Stanbic IBTC, N1.88 billion; Citibank Nigeria, N1.2 billion; and Diamond Bank, N250 million.
The banks were accused by the CBN of issuing irregular Certificates of Capital Importation on behalf of some offshore investors of MTN Nigeria Communications Limited.
MTN Nigeria is expected to also refund $8.134 billion to Nigeria.
The debiting of the bank was confirmed in a letter to the Nigerian Stock Exchange by Stanbic IBTC Bank.
The bank informed its investors and stakeholders that CBN had “unilaterally deducted” N1.886 billion from its account with the regulator.
It said this was despite its position that it was not involved in any shady deal.
The letter, signed by the Group Company Secretary, Chidi Okezie, and Acting Head, Marketing and Communications, Bridget Oyefeso-Odusami, stated: “Following our earlier announcement to The Nigerian Stock Exchange (“NSE”) on 30 August 2018, in respect of the penalty of N1.886 billion imposed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (“CBN”) on our banking subsidiary – Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC (the “Bank”) in relation to the remittance of foreign exchange on the basis of certain capital importation certificates issued to MTN Nigeria Communications Limited, we write to update The NSE that the CBN has debited the account of our banking subsidiary with the CBN for the full amount of the above stated fine advised to the Bank.
“Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC as well as our banking subsidiary maintain our position on this matter, which is the fact that the Bank has done nothing illegal and accordingly the bank will continue to provide CBN with documents and details in support of our contention that our actions in relation to these transactions were not illegal.”
Regarding the claim that the shareholders of MTN Nigeria invested $402,590,261.03 in the company from 2001 to 2006, the bank said: “The twenty certificates of capital importation CCIs transferred to our bank by Standard Chartered Bank and which were in the above quoted sum were re-issued from existing CCIs that had been issued by Standard Chartered Bank to the original investors in MTNN.”
It said the “these CCIs were transferred to our Bank to facilitate the repatriation of the proceeds of MTN’s Private Placement which took place in February 2008.”

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