Poor MTN Nigeria Plc (mind you, not on money but influence), EFCC has joined the list of investigators of its public listing. I think they should change the mobile giant name to One Week One Trouble Nigeria Plc; better check if Anezi Okoro did not trademark that – he has a book of same name.
MTN Nigeria on Saturday said that it was being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the listing of its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
A statement posted on the exchange web site signed by MTN Nigeria Communications, Company Secretary, Uto Ukpanah, confirmed the investigation.
The statement said the company received a letter on May 23 from EFCC requesting information and documentation related to the listing of our shares on the NSE.
“MTN Nigeria has not been accused of any wrongdoing by the EFCC.
“We wish to reiterate that we received all regulatory approvals required to list our shares on the NSE, as publicly confirmed by NSE and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
“As a law-abiding and responsible corporate citizen, we are cooperating fully with the authorities.
“We are committed to good governance and to abiding by the extant laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” said the statement.
My position on these investigations remains as noted here.
There’s a difference between ethical and legal behaviour. On face value, it seems MTN found and exploited that distinction. Finding a loophole in the law and using it is completely legal. However, circumventing the spirit of the agreement (which was to give Nigerians a financial stake in MTN) using a loophole is unethical. The governments approach is a losing strategy because its fighting on the wrong field. It’s deploying legal arsenal were it needs to stage a PR assault. MTN will win every legal spark but that’s not clear with a PR campaign. The government currently, is like a lion in sea fighting a sea serpent, it will not win. It needs to bring the war to land to stand a chance at victory in this battle. It still does need to update the laws to stop this happening again.