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MTN announces $1.6bn Nigeria investment

Abuja, Nigeria | AFP |  South African mobile giant MTN has said it will make investments worth $1.6 billion (1.45 billion euros) in Nigeria as it seeks to put a series of legal wrangles to bed.

The telecommunications firm said late Wednesday that its top executives made the announcement during a meeting with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.

“As part of its ongoing commitment to Nigeria, MTN announced a capital investment programme of $1.6 billion over the next three years to strengthen and expand its network and operations in the country,” a statement from the company said.

MTN has faced a string of financial claims from Nigeria and last May floated its shares on the stock exchange in the West African country.

Earlier this month Nigeria’s attorney general withdrew a demand for around $2 billion in back taxes in the latest step towards resolving the legal woes.

The disputes with MTN have rattled investor confidence in Africa’s most populous nation and tarnished diplomatic relations between continental powerhouses Nigeria and South Africa.

MTN, which began operation in Nigeria in 2001, is the country’s largest operator with some 60 million subscribers.

The company last year settled a $1.5 billion fine levelled by the authorities for failing to disconnect unregistered subscribers.

In 2018 it agreed to pay a separate $53 million fine after being accused of illegally repatriating $8.13 billion to South Africa.

 

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