MTN headache persists as top executives resign

Embattled teleco-giant, MTN is set to lose another high ranking executive over the next few months.

According to Bloomberg, MTN Chief Innovation officer, Herman Singh’s departure from the group is imminent and will move on to start his own tech venture. Singh was recruited from MTN’s rival Vodacom Group in 2015.

This departure is coming after MTN’s Chief Technology Officer, Babak Fouladi prepares to join Dutch Telecommunications firm, KPN NV next week. Fouladi was lured from Vodafone Group two years ago. Another top shot of the group, Stephen Van Coller left MTN at the end of August to held the technology firm EOH Holdings Ltd less than two years into his tenure.

Other headaches for the Africa’s largest wireless carrier, include its ongoing investigation over the alleged illegal transfer of $8.1 billion out of the country with the help of four banks, including CitiBank, Diamond Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Stanbic IBTC Bank. Although, MTN and the affected banks all denied this claim, even as new evidence soon emerged that the telecoms company is owing Nigeria the sum of $2 billion in back taxes. As expectedly, the controversies have affected MTN’s business as it has also cast doubt over the company’s planned initial public offering in Nigeria.

Although there seems to be a ray of hope, according to the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, the apex bank is on the verge of announcing an amicable resolution.

Another challenge facing the group is its inability to extract cash from Iran, its third biggest market after the U.S President, reinstated sanctions against the country.

MTN Group revealed plans to apply for payment banking licence in Nigeria and launch a mobile money service in the country by the second quarter of 2019. It also agreed to a partnership with Orange South Africa last week to ease payments across the continent.

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