Pan African telco, MTN Group, has announced that it will invest an additional $1.6 billion into its Nigerian operations, in a bid to boost connectivity in West Africa’s most populous nation.
“Financial inclusion and access to funding and digital services all become easier when our continent is powered by connectivity. The benefits of a connected continent are far reaching, making a positive impact across Africa”, MTN Group’s president and CEO, Rob Shuter, said after meeting with Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.
Shuter did not elaborate on exactly how the funds would be allocated.
The announcement came following the news that the Nigerian government was set to drop a $2 billion suit against MTN Group over alleged unpaid taxes.
In September last year, the Nigerian government initiated legal proceedings against the South African based telco, claiming that MTN Group owed close to $2 billion in unpaid back taxes related to its business in Nigeria. In total, MTN Group was accused of improperly removing a total of $8.1 billion from the country, between 2007 and 2008.
On the 8th of January 2020, Nigeria’s Attorney General issued a letter to MTN Group saying that it would be referring the case to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Nigerian Customs (NCS) for resolution, ultimately dropping its demand for payment of the $2 billion.
MTN Group is the largest telco in Africa, claiming more than 233 million subscribers in 21 consumer markets across the continent. The company also provides enterprise services to businesses in 23 African nations.
Nigeria is MTN Group’s biggest market, where it boasts over 58 million subscribers.