The ongoing trial between embattled telco-giant, MTN Nigeria and the Attorney General of the Federation over a $2 billion tax demand has been adjourned to February 7, 2019, as the presiding judge, Justice Saliu Saidu, was away on administrative leave.
MTN faces a $2 billion tax demand from Nigeria’s Attorney General, a claim the company has vehemently denied.
It was gathered that the Federal Government is yet to file a full reply to its suit, but the company had filed an injunction asking the court to restrain the government from “disturbing or otherwise interfering with the business of the company.”
The telecom service provider is also facing a separate battle with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over allegations that it illegally transferred $8.1 billion from the country in breach of foreign exchange regulations, which the company had also denied. The Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele has, however, assured that both parties are on the verge of resolving the issue.
The crisis in its biggest market, Nigeria, has seen a drop in the stock price that is close to a 10-year low. Although, some investors are already taking advantage of the plunge in prices to increase stake in the company. Recently, Africa’s biggest fund manager, Public Investment Corporation (PIC) reportedly raised its stake in the telco which is reportedly put at 26%.
MTN also recently applied for a mobile payment banking license in Nigeria and plans to start service in the country by the second quarter of 2019.