MTN wants a Nigerian high court to protect it from the country’s central bank and attorney general

MTN Group has applied to a Federal High Court in Nigeria to prevent the country’s central bank and the attorney general from taking any actions against the company following claims of illegal capital repatriation and owing of back taxes.

The Central Bank of Nigeria last month ordered the company to refund a total of $8.134 billion which it took out of the country illegally. Last week, MTN disclosed that the attorney general’s office claims that it owes $2 billion in relation to the import of foreign equipment and payments to foreign suppliers over the last 10 years.

The company has insisted that it has not committed any offences and will continue to defend its position.

Group Chief Executive Rob Shuter said on Monday that he was confident that the issues with the Nigerian government will be resolved.

“Nigeria, it’s our largest market. We’ve been operating there since 2001. We do have some challenges these past few weeks, but we believe we will be able to make our case and I’m sure we will move past that as soon as we can,” Shuter told reporters at the ITU Telecom World conference going on in Durban, South Africa. Shuter delivered the keynote address at the ITU Telecom World opening ceremony today, where he emphasised the importance of stakeholders working together to bridge the digital divide.