Senate to quiz Minister, MTN over fraudulent practises

The Senate yesterday resolved to investigate what it called, “unscrupulous violation of the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous) Act” by a serving minister, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, who is the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, MTN Nigeria, four banks and six other persons.

MTN is particularly accused of illegally repatriating $13.92 billion out of Nigeria through Stanbic IBTC, Standard Chartered Bank, Citi Bank and Diamond Bank between 2006 and 2016 using Enelamah and other persons as proxies.

The resolution followed the adoption of a motion on the matter, sponsored by Senator Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi) and seconded by Senator Albert Bassey (PDP, Akwa Ibom), who said the allegations cannot be waved aside.

The Senate noted with serious concern, the alleged illegal repatriation of $13.92 billion out of the country by Mobile Telecommunication Limited (MTN) through its bankers.

Lawmakers recalled that MTN was incorporated in Nigeria as a private limited liability company on November 8, 2000, obtaining its operating licence with $284,906,275.89 on February 6, 2001.

It was observed that MTN did not request for certificate of capital importation from its bankers, Standard Chartered Bank , within the regulatory period of 24 hours of the inflow even as it was discovered that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was not also notified of the inflow by Standard Chartered Bank within 48 hours of receipt and conversion of the proceeds to naira as required by extant regulations.

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