MTN denies alleged 75% stake by Indian group

Nigeria’s foremost telecoms company, MTN, has refuted claim that it is exiting the country and relocating to South Africa. It also denied news making the round that it has sold 75 per cent stake to Indian investors.

This is coming after the heels of online reports, which quoted the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, as saying, “not less than 75 per cent ownership of MTN has been acquired by Indians,” while expressing sadness at the state of the economy.

The reports, which quoted the Minister in Abuja at the weekend during the inaugural press conference of the Computer-Based Test (CBT) Centre Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (CPAN), as lamenting that Indians are gradually buying over MTN in Nigeria now and one of the sad trend about the development was that Indians now have the capacity to administer what MTN does by physically employing Nigerians.

“They want the capacity to do that from their country and if we in Nigeria allow all these opportunities to go, it will not speak well. Indians have now taken over not less than 75 per cent of MTN and the control of MTN is from India, not even from Nigeria, and if your association is not taking over this CBT, may be Indians will come and take over CBT.”

Onu on his part, reiterated that the Federal Government does not want foreigners to take away technological opportunities meant for Nigerians.

But reacting to news of the 75 per cent acquisition by Indian investors, an impeccable source in MTN Nigeria denied that there was nothing like that, warning that such statement could only cause panic among Nigerian subscribers.

“I can tell you that there is no iota of truth in that information because if it were to be true, such information would have been passed to the regulator. There was probably a mix up with another telco but as far as MTN is concerned, it’s absolutely false.” Although a flurry of uncertainties among subscribers is ongoing as rumours being peddled was one of the reasons the ‘company’s strong woman’, Mrs. Amina Oyagbola, Head of Human Resources and Corporate Services, bowed out recently.

Meanwhile, NCC’s Public Affairs Director, Mr. Tony Ojobo, told Daily Sun on phone that MTN has not officially communicated anything to the commission and as such, he wasn’t aware of the acquisition by indians.