INTERNATIONAL - A Nigerian judge yesterday adjourned until October 29 a case to resolve a $2billion (R28.65bn) tax dispute between South African telecoms company MTN Group and Nigeria’s attorney-general.
The attorney-general has demanded MTN pay the $2bn in September. The company has said the tax demand is without merit and the attorney-general has exceeded his powers in making the request.
Lawyers for the government requested the adjournment. Nigeria is MTN’s biggest market, with 58 million users in 2018 and accounting for a third of the South African firm’s core profit.
But the Nigerian business has faced challenges, ranging from the tax demand to a fine over unregistered SIM cards. MTN Nigeria, the company’s local unit, listed in Lagos in May in a 2 trillion naira (R79.06bn) flotation and became the second-largest stock on the bourse by market value.
The listing followed MTN Group’s agreement with Nigerian regulators to settle most of its long-running disputes. MTN agreed in December to make a $53 million payment to resolve a separate dispute.
MTN Nigeria shares dropped to their lowest level in five weeks a day after a local court adjourned until October a case involving the telecoms firm with the government over a $2 billion tax dispute.
Shares in MTN, the local unit of South Africa’s telecoms group MTN Group, dropped 2.4% to 128.75 naira each, a level they reached on May 21.