MTN may consider exiting the Nigerian market if it continues to face fines and investigations into its operation in the country, local media reports.
News outlet Business Journal cited comments made by an unnamed senior executive at MTN, who told the news service one or two directors discussed the possibility of leaving the market if the “endless hostility” of regulators and the authorities continued into 2017.
The MTN executive also voiced concerns negative publicity received as a result of issues in Nigeria could tarnish the brand’s reputation across the world.
MTN in June 2016 agreed to pay the Nigerian Government NGN330 billion ($1.04 billion) over three years to settle a dispute related to failing to register the personal details of 5.1 million subscribers during 2015. The government originally tried to fine the company three times this amount before a settlement was reached.
Three months later the company strongly denied allegations it illegally transferred $13.92 billion out of Nigeria over the course of 10 years. In a statement at the time, MTN Nigeria CEO Ferdi Moolman said the allegations were “completely unfounded and without any merit”.
MTN is Nigeria’s largest operator with 59 million registered connections.