South African telecoms company MTN Group and Nigeria’s central bank are negotiating to settle a $ 8.1 billion dispute, lawyers said Tuesday when the Lagos court suspended the case between the parties until Dec. 12.
The dispute concerns the transfer of $ 8.1 billion of funds that, according to the Nigerian central bank, were sent abroad in violation of exchange regulations. MTN has denied any crime.
Nigeria is the largest MTN market and represents one third of the annual net profit of the South African company. The mobile phone network serves 56 million people in Nigeria.
Seyi Sowemino, a lawyer representing Nigeria’s central bank, said the parties were at an advanced stage in the liquidation process. “We just want to cross T’s and dot I’s,” he told the court.
Wole Olanipekun, a lawyer representing MTN, also said that the two sides were in talks.
The lawyers requested a brief adjournment so that the lawyers could inform the court about the resolution negotiations. The judge adjourned the case until December 12.