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MTN subscribers increase to 225.4m amidst sanctions



MTN subscribers increase to 225.4m amidst sanctions

MTN Group, a telecommunication company in Africa, said its number of subscribers increased by 1.1 percent in the third quarter of 2018 amidst sanctions placed on it by the Nigerian government.

The telco made this known in its report for the quarter on Monday, adding that the growth was helped partly by strong performances in the country, its largest market.

According to the report, the company said it added 2.5 million new subscribers to its user base to reach 225.4 million, while mobile money customers grew by 1.7 million to 25.8 million users in the review quarter.

In a statement on Monday, MTN’s Chief Executive Officer, Rob Shuter, said the group’s revenue grew by 10 percent when compared with a year earlier.

“MTN recorded an improved operational performance in many markets in the third quarter with group service revenue up 10 percent year-on-year, ahead of our medium-term target of upper-single-digit growth.

Read also: Nigerian govt proposes N8.73trn for 2019 budget

“These results were delivered in challenging operating and currency conditions,” Shuter said.

On August 29, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directed MTN to refund $8.1 billion shareholders’ funds it repatriated from the country through illegal means.

Two weeks later, the telecommunication firm was indicted by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), demanding for another $2 billion tax default. This brings the total claim by the federal government from MTN to $10.1 billion.

But the telecom firm, which makes about a third of its annual core profit in Nigeria, said the allegations are without merit, even as it submitted fresh documents to the financial regulator.

Earlier this month, CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, said in London that the new information provided by the telco would help cut the size of the claim and that the matter would be resolved “amicably.”

“We continue to engage with relevant authorities on these matters. We remain resolute that MTN Nigeria has not committed any offences and will continue to defend this position vigorously,” MTN said while posting the quarterly results.


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