$8.1bn MTN fine: Face your core duties, Buhari Media Organisation tells Senate
The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has advised the Senate to desist from interfering with the executive in the running of state affairs but to concentrate more on its duties of providing adequate legislation for the growth of the nation.
The group gave the advice in a statement jointly signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke on Thursday in Abuja.
The group was reacting to the Senate resolution on the fine imposed on communication company, MTN.
The group, therefore, cautioned Nigerian Senate to pay more attention to its legislative duties and ensure that it always formed a quorum, rather than dabble into issues that were strictly within the purview of the executive arm of government.
It noted that any company which was found to have violated extant laws must abide by the consequence of its actions, as “MTN violated currency regulations by sending $8.1 billion abroad illegally”.
The CBN had imposed heavy fines totalling N5.87bn on four banks under its regulatory purview for alleged illegal funds repatriation.
It also directed the management of the banks and MTN Nigeria Communications Limited to immediately refund to the apex bank $8,134,312,397.63, which was said to have been illegally repatriated by the company.
A statement from the CBN has said it asked the banks and MTN to refund money for what it described as ‘flagrant violation of extant laws and regulations of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, including the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1995 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Foreign Exchange Manual, 2006’.
The four banks that came under the sledgehammer of the CBN for the violations were Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic-IBTC, Citibank and Diamond Bank.
BMO, therefore cautioned the Senate to refrain from assuming executive powers in the management of state affairs.
It also advised the Senate to focus on forming more quorum so that members could attend to key national issues and give value for money being spent on them.
“The Senate is reminded that, not only will MTN pay its fine as ascribed by the CBN, banks involved in this illegal repatriation have been fined and sums debited at the source.”
BMO noted that “the issue in contention is not a fine but repatriation of foreign exchange initially thought to have been fraudulently secured through local banks
“The derivation arising from that is that MTN would have been made to pay back the $8.1 billion while the local equivalent value would have been refunded to MTN.
“Now it would seem that the matter of repatriation had been resolved by the CBN so the suggestion of the $800 million is a surcharge on the transaction rather than a repatriation,” it said.