LAGOS (Reuters) – South Africa’s MTN Group has resolved a dispute with Nigeria’s central bank and made a $53 million payment, the telecoms company said in a message posted on Twitter on Monday.
Nigeria’s central bank had said $8.1 billion in dividends paid by MTN Nigeria to its parent company between 2007 and 2015 and sent back to South Africa were illegal and should be returned.
While the west African country’s regulator had accused MTN of illegally transferring the funds out of the country, MTN denied any wrongdoing.
“MTN resolves Nigeria dividend issue, makes $53m payment, engaging with banks regarding the agreement,” it said on Twitter.
Nigeria is MTN’s biggest market, accounting for a third of its annual core profit, but has proved problematic in recent years.
Around two years ago MTN agreed to pay more than $1 billion to settle a dispute over SIM cards in Nigeria.
In a separate case, MTN faces a $2 billion tax demand from Nigeria’s attorney general.
Reporting by Alexis Akwagyiram; editing by Jason Neely