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Some stakeholders in the Nigerian Stock Exchange have expressed displeasure over MTN’s constant infractions and troubles with the Nigerian authorities while also urging the leading telco to desist from denting the public’s perception of them.

The stakeholders are also stressed the need for MTN to get its act together by entrenching the culture of best practice, good corporate governance and ensuring that they abide by Nigeria’s laws ahead of the company’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) which is expected by May next year.

This is imperative because as the President of Proactive Shareholders Association (Taiwo Oderinde) have forwarned, “we will fight them on the floor of AGM” if MTN continues to misbehave after the IPO.

He bemoaned the rate at which most multinationals in Nigeria abuse the laws guiding business operation in the country, stating that investors have often been the ones suffering the consequences of the sanctions that follow such abuses. For this reason, MTN must tackle its corporate governance issues before listing Nigerian bourse.

Expressing the same sentiment, the Chief Officer at Foresight Securities Limited (Charles Fakrogba) said wondered why a company like MTN would commit tax crimes as it has been alleged; saying that the company would never misbehave like that in South Africa where it is originally from.

“Can MTN behave this way in South Africa; this is bad image for MTN, and it would be difficult for them when they come to the market. They should ensure that they resolve all issues with the government immediately because their corporate governance is at stake.” -Fakrogba

In the meantime, the company’s IPO is at stake

As we have repeatedly reported, the Central Bank of Nigeria late August ordered MTN to refund the sum $8.1 billion which was accused of illegally repatriating to South Africa. A few days afterwards, the office of Nigeria’s Attorney General disclosed that MTN owes about $2 billion; money that the telco was asked to pay.

Expectedly, all of these developments worried the company which had in the past been at loggerheads with Nigerian regulators. The developments also cast doubt on the company’s long-awaited listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has insisted that MTN IPO must go on, giving an ultimatum of May 2019 to its effect. Failure by MTN to abide by this directive could result in further consequences for the telco. This is because the NCC may reimpose the initial fine of $5 billion which it placed on MTN in 2015 because of SIM card registration issues.

Despite all the troubles, the IPO is still anticipated. As the stakeholders mentioned admitted, the public offer has the potential to be the biggest in the history of Nigeria’s capital market. This is yet another reason why the company must avoid tarnishing its image with unnecessary controversies so as not to lose the much-needed public’s confidence.

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  1. MTN is deliberately flouting Nigeria’s regulatory ethos because she knows that officials can easily be bribed to get what they want. From South Africa where MTN comes from, they do everything right as required by law. While in Nigeria, MTN knows that “corruption is the only way to get wrong things right”.

    MTN is fired on by greed to remain on top of other telcos at all costs even though the nation’s security and economic wellbeing are bridged and circumvented. In their mad rush to lead the telco market, they auction their sim cards in open markets, holdups, churches and mosques, brothels, and unauthorized hideouts with impunity. Their commissioned agents register subscribers indiscriminately and at will simply to be counted as the “leading telco operator” in Nigeria.

    MTN defiles NCC regulations in such brazen hurry that they short change the “mandatory data profile” of subscribers, simply to gain “market advantage and coverage” against national security and terrorism implications. Why is MTN always in the news for wrong reasons? They’re above the law of the land “armed with bribery and corruption” Ghana-Must- Go sacks to the right officials who close their “eagle eyes” to MTN infractions with fatalities.

    I can tell you that more MTN infractions will be endlessly unearthed in due course. What is driving them is greed and, nothing more. They believe that “all bad practices are possible in Nigeria”, and would you blame them, really? The only check is to sanction them without mercy and compassion. This is the hard language dupes and fraudsters grasp easily and shape up. MTN should never be permitted to destroy the laws of the land because their collaborators are quick to point out that sanctions will have negative impact on “direct foreign investment inflow”, and who cares?


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