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Body faults U.S, UK positions on fine against MTN


A civil society group, People’s Alternative Front (PAF), has faulted United States and the United Kingdom’s position on the row between MTN and the Nigerian government.

This was contained in a statement yesterday by President of the group and human rights activist, Femi Falana. He said the statements attributed to officials of both countries smacked hypocrisy, without prejudice to the ongoing moves by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and MTN to resolve the issue.

U.S. Consul General, John Bray, and British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria Laura Beaufils, had last week cautioned that the problem facing MTN could send bad signals to foreign investors.

The envoys spoke at the sidelines of a conference organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) during the 2018 Lagos International Trade Fair.

The newspaper quoted the envoys as saying that some foreign investors had taken their investments to neighbouring countries due to the crisis.But PAF claimed that the statements were not objective.

According to the body: “By their highly prejudicial comments, both envoys have given the misleading impression that the British and American governments would condoned the violations of extant financial regulations to discourage investors.

“As far as both envoys are concerned, while financial regulations are strictly enforced in advanced capitalist countries, even if the heavens would fall, they should be conveniently breached in a peripheral capitalist country like Nigeria.”

Falana said it is curious that both envoys neither commented on the penalties imposed on Nigerian banks for their involvement in illegal capital exportation, nor dismissed MTN’s alleged breaches of Nigeria’s financial regulations.

Citing numerous cases of such regulatory actions in both countries, Falana said it is doubtful if both envoys were not aware of such actions by the regulatory agencies in Western countries, including the UK and U.S.He disclosed that in the last nine years, they imposed penalties of over $113 billion on banks and other corporate bodies for committing money laundering offences and for violating financial regulations.

The report listed the case involving Barclays with a total fine $2.4 billion, in addition to eight additional employees fired for their roles in forex manipulation.

The group also made reference to the case of JPMorgan Chase and four other banks fined a total $26 billion when the banks were accused of participating in the practice of robo-signing, among other stiff penalties associated with breach of regulatory measures in both countries.

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Femi FalanaMTN
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