MTN: Melaye’s allegation is without merit, baseless – Minister

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Okechukwu Enelamah, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment has dismissed as untrue the allegation made in the Senate by Senator Dino Melaye that he was involved in the transfer of funds from Nigeria by telecom giant MTN.

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Reacting to the allegation, the Director of Press in the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Greyne Anosike, in a statement said that the Minister has never been in a position to transact any such business for the company.

“Dr. Enelamah served as the CEO of Capital Alliance Nigeria Limited (CANL) between 1998 and 2015. CANL is a wholly owned subsidiary of African Capital Alliance (“ACA”), an Africa focused private equity firm with investments in carefully selected companies within and outside Nigeria, including MTN Nigeria,” the statement read.

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“A fund managed by ACA, alongside other minority shareholders, invested in MTN Nigeria through Celtelecom. Dr. Enelamah was never the “owner” of Celtelecom as alleged by the Senator; neither was he ever a Celtelecom shareholder. Instead he was a director of the company, representing the ACA managed fund.

“Investors do not have responsibility for remittance of proceeds from the company they are invested in. Therefore, at no time was Dr. Enelamah in a position to transfer funds out of Nigeria on behalf of MTN Nigeria, and at no time did Dr. Enelamah transfer any funds out of Nigeria on behalf of MTN Nigeria.

“As it relates to Celtelecom’s investment in MTN Nigeria, it is important to note that the entire process for applying for and using CCIs was done by MTN Nigeria.

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“Dr Enelamah resigned all his board positions, including from ACA and Celtelecom, consequent to his appointment as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

It would be recalled that Melaye had alleged that MTN moved $13.9billion out of the country between 2006 and now, in violation of banking rules and regulations, to floated and incorporated offshore Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) in the Cayman Island, Mauritius and British Virgin Island with help from the Minister

The Senate however transferred the matter to its Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions to investigate the matter and report back to it within two weeks.

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