MTN will keep engaging with Nigerian authorities to resolve a $10.1 billion (R147bn) dispute with the West African country. Reuters

JOHANNESBURG - The $10.1 billion (R147bn) dispute between the MTN Group and Nigeria's central bank is heating up. 

MTN said it will keep engaging with Nigerian authorities and is placing its faith in the courts, its chief executive said.

It is estimated that MTN makes a third of its annual core profit in Nigeria and the company believes that Nigeria's allegations are without merit. 

The company did say that no other steps have been taken by the West African country. 

At the end of August, the Nigerian Central Bank ordered that MTN and its lenders bring $8.1 billion back into Nigeria.

The government believes that MTN sent the money abroad and is in breach of foreign exchange regulations.

The telecoms giant also faces a $2 billion tax demand from Nigeria's attorney general.

It should be noted that MTN has denied any wrongdoing.

“We have continued engagement with authorities, exchanging documentation and there is a genuine will to reach an amicable situation,” MTN’s chief executive Rob Shuter said on a call. 

“However, we need to protect ourselves and we are relying on the courts in Nigeria to make sure there’s an amicable resolution.”

MTN and will head to court today on the $8.1 billion matter and Shuter believes that the case will get am adjourned date because more information will likely be requested.

CONFIDENT IN A RESOLUTION 

Last week, Nigeria said that they were confident of resolving the MTN dispute.

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