Market pundits have said the request by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that the MTN Group should refund 8.1 billion dollars illegally repatriated from Nigeria will jeopardise the listing of its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

The CBN ordered MTN to refund $8.1 billion illegal capital repatriation from its Nigerian operations to offshore investors. Four banks were fined N5.87b.

The MTN Group rejected the accusation.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it had not received any application from the MTN Group regarding its proposed initial public offering (IPO).

The MTN has the largest share of Nigerian telecoms market with 36.39 per cent. Airtel has 26.10 per cent as at February, Globacom (26.03 per cent) and 9mobile (11.49 per cent)

Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), Chief Boniface Okezie, advised CBN and MTN Group to resolve the issue.

He said he expected a resolution on the matter to avoid a systemic banking crisis, given that the repayment of 8.1 billion dollars, which is about half of MTN’s market capitalisation, could threaten its Nigerian bankers.

“Talking about the CBN allegation that MTN repatriated 8.1 billion dollars out of the country. It is an issue that can be resolved by the two parties because there is no way such huge amount of money could have been transferred by the commercial banks without the knowledge and approval of CBN in the first place.