It appears the $8.1 billion dispute between MTN Group Limited and the Nigerian authorities will drag into the coming new year, as a judge in Lagos, today, adjourned the the case until January 22nd, 2019.
According to Reuters, the Judge’s decision to adjourn the case followed requests the legal counsels representing the Central Bank of Nigeria and MTN Group Limited.
In the meantime, the potential for an out of court settlement abounds. This is because one of the lawyers representing the telecoms company was quoted as saying that “we are still making moves towards an out of court settlement.”
A similar development
Just last week, Justice Saliu Saidu also adjourned a different $2 billion court case involving MTN and the office of Nigeria’s Attorney General till January 7th. The telco had been accused of owing the Government the sum of $2 billion in back taxes. It continues to deny this.
Note that the Attorney General (AG) is also a co-defendant in the $8.1 billion case. And during today’s hearing, counsel to the AG made known its client’s willingness to proceed with a settlement approach.
But any possibility for an out of court settlement for either one of the cases will remain just that — a possibility — until January 2019.
The Government’s serious demands
Recall the leading South African telco ran into yet another trouble with the Nigerian authorities when in late August, the central Bank of Nigeria sanctioned the company for allegedly violating Nigeria’s extant laws.
According to the CBN, evidence had emerged about how MTN’s Nigeria subsidiary used irregular Certificates of Capital Importation (CCIs) to move a total of $8.1 billion to South Africa on behalf of MTN’s offshore investors.
The authorities then demanded that the telco return the money to the company or face further sanctions. MTN, however, denied the allegations. Ever since then, both parties have been seeking a more peaceful resolution of the conflict.
It is important to mention that MTN Nigeria accounts for a third of MTN Group Limited’s market share in Africa.
FG explains why Lagos-Ibadan rail line was not linked to the sea
The government in its explanation said that the delay was due to disruption by trucks going in and out of the port complex.
The Federal Government has stated why the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) Nigeria Limited could not link the final part of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line to the sea.
The government in its explanation said that it was due to disruption by trucks going in and out of the port complex.
According to a press statement signed by the Director, Press and Public Relations of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Eric Ojiekwe, this disclosure was made by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, while on a routine tour of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line project on Saturday, April 10, 2021.
The Minister pointed out that the original blueprint for the Lagos-Ibadan rail line project was not adhered to by CCECC Nigeria Limited and TEAM consortium and therefore warned that the master plan of the soon to commence Ibadan-Kano rail line project should not be changed.
The statement from the ministry partly reads, “The Nigerian Government has restated its commitment to connect the whole country by rail with the soon to commence Ibadan-Kano Standard Gauge Rail project.”
Amaechi forewarned that the master plan of the soon to commence project should not be changed as the original blueprint for the Lagos-Ibadan wasn’t adhered to by Messrs CCECC Nigeria and TEAM consortium. The Minister who rode the train from Ebute-Meta to the 8.72 km Apapa Port Spur line, informed the media that the inability of Messrs CCECC Nigeria to link the final part of the rail line down to the sea is rather due to disruption by trucks going in and out of the port complex.’’
The Minister had noted that the Federal Government has paid its share of the counterpart funding of the Ibadan-Kano rail line project and is waiting for China-Exim bank to ratify its side of the agreement for the project to commence.
He also advised the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to acquire more land around the train stations and the rail tracks for future development adding that this will be near impossible to do in the future as whatever space available now would have been taken over by businesses attracted to the rail line.
In case you missed it
It can be recalled that full commercial train services commenced on the Lagos-Ibadan rail line after train operations commenced on December 7, 2020, with only Lagos, Ibadan and Abeokuta residents enjoying the train services.
This is because other minor and major stations along that route were yet to be completed.
IBADAN-KANO RAIL PROJECT TO COMMENCE SOON – FG
The @NigerianGov has restated its commitment to connect the whole country by rail with the soon to commence Ibadan-Kano Standard Gauge Rail project.
The Minister of Transportation, @ChibuikeAmaechi, while on routine tour of the
— Federal Ministry of Transportation (@MinTransportNG) April 11, 2021
Industrial Index loses -12.39 points, as BUA and Lafarge Cement shares top losers list
The NSE Industrials index lost 12.39 index points in the first trading week in the month of April.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange Industrial Index at the close of trading activities for the first week in the month of April closed on a bearish note, following a 0.66% decrease in the shares of BUA CEMENT and Lafarge.
At the close of trading activities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange on the 9th of April 2021, the industrial index depreciated by 55.01 index points, to close lower at 1,928.18 index points for the week.
When compared to the overall performance of the market, the NSE Industrial index underperformed, noting that the NSE All-Share Index and Market Capitalization depreciated by 0.66% to close the week at 38,866.39 and N20.3350 trillion respectively.
What you should know
The NSE Industrial Index was designed to provide an investable benchmark to capture the performance of the Industrial Sector. It comprises the most capitalized and liquid companies in the industrial sector and is based on the market capitalization methodology.
The index tracks the performance of ten industrial companies on the Nigerian Stock Exchange which includes Dangote, BUA, and Lafarge Cement.
The overall performance of the companies for the week was bearish, as the index closed on a negative note driven by the decrease in the share price of BUA Cement and Lafarge.
MEYER (19.51) was the only gainer for the week, while BUACEMENT (-1.09%) and LAFARGE WAPCO (-3.00%) were the only losers for the week.
- MEYER up by19.51% to close at N0.49.
- WAPCO down by -3.00% to close at N21.00.
- BUACEMENT down by -1.09% to close at N72.70.
Nairametrics | Company Earnings
Access our Live Feed portal for the latest company earnings as they drop.
- Cornerstone Insurance Plc notifies stakeholders of late submission of financial statements.
- NSE approves delisting of 11 Plc shares.
- Berger Paints Nigeria Plc reports a 67% decline in Profits in FY 2020.
- MTN Nigeria raises N73.5 billion from CP Issuance to finance operations.
- Jaiz Bank proposes dividend worth N884 million for shareholders.