Group CEO of MTN, Sifiso Debengwa have just tendered his resignation. This is following the intense drama between the company and NCC ( Nigerian Telecommunications Commission). The regulatory body fined MTN a huge sum of $5.2 billion for the wrong timing of the disconnection of 5.1 million unregistered subscribers.
In terms of finances, this shoock MTN, because the company shares fell to an all time low – the first time since 1998. Fresh reports from GhanaBusinessNews claims that the company may have dodged taxes in five African countries too.
In early October 2015 a five-country investigative reporting project by journalists working under the auspices of Finance Uncovered found that the MTN had transferred large sums of money worth several hundred millions dollars out of Uganda, Cote d’ivoire, South Africa and Ghana into tax havens.
“Although these transfers are badged as payments for management and technical services, in reality much of them end up in a shell company in the tiny Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, where MTN employs no staff.
These fees are counted as a cost of doing business and deducted from taxable profits in the countries where MTN operates outside of South Africa, but questions have been asked about whether these payments are justified,” the report said.
In a statement tendered for his resignation, Dabengwa said:
“Due to the most unfortunate prevailing circumstances occurring at MTN Nigeria, I, in the interest of the Company and its shareholders, have tendered my resignation with immediate effect.”
Mr Phuthuma Nhleko, a current non-executive chairman,and predecessor to Dabegmwa will handle the affairs of the company for the time being.
“I will assume responsibility as Executive Chairman for the next 6 months as I proactively deal with the Nigerian regulator and will continue to work with them in addressing the issues around unregistered subscribers as a matter of urgency,” said Nhleko.