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Trade Minister Helped MTN Move $13.92bn Out Of Nigeria Illegally -Dino Melaye

Senate Rejects Sale Of National Asset

Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, on Tuesday, advanced his whistle blowing role as he alleged that the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investments, Okechukwu Enelamah collaborated with ‎MTN to illegally move $13.92billion out of Nigeria.

Melaye had last Thursday dropped a hint on the under-dealing by the Minister, while he alleged today that the money was moved out of the country between 2006 and 2016. In a motion on the floor of the senate on Tuesday, Melaye disclosed that other top shots were also‎ involved in the reap-off by MTN reeled off the names of other Nigerians whom he alleged were complicit in the act.

He said, “The senate notes with serious concern the repatriation of $13.92bn illegally out of Nigeria by Mobile Telecommunication Limited (MTN) through its‎ bankers between 2006 and 2016,”  “Concerned that since inception, MTN had sought the collaboration of influential and unpatriotic Nigerians to assist them in looting our external reserves. “Pained that the Nigerians, including a serving minister who MTN used in moving $13.92bn out of Nigeria, which is over 50 percent of our external reserves floated and incorporated offshore SPVs in Cayman Island, Mauritius and British Virgin Island.

“The minister of industry, trade and investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, owner of CELTELCOM Investment Limited with address at No 608, St James, Denis Street Port-Lewis Mauritius purportedly claimed to invest in MTN on February 7, 2008, got certificate of capital importation and filled form A on the same date, closed his investment in Nigeria after receiving dollar payment‎ for repatriation to New York same day.”

Melaye‎ urged the senate to mandate its committee on banking, insurance and other financial institutions to carry out holistic investigation into the matter. In adopting Melaye’s motion, the Senate directed its committee on banking, insurance and other financial institutions to investigate the allegation. On the other hand, the Senate has rejected the proposed sale of national asset by the federal government. The Senate took the decision after it resumed plenary following an extensive deliberation.

The Buhari administration has proposed the sell some asset to revive the economy. But many Nigerians are opposed to the plan, arguing that previous sales barely helped the nation’s economy. The government has suggested that if it eventually adopts the policy, it would insist on a re-purchase clause.

About Editor

Otunba Sayo Akintola is a 1992 graduate of Linguistics from the University of Ibadan, Oyo State. He holds a post-graduate diploma in Financial Management and MBA from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi. He started his 12-year sojourn in journalism at the Nigerian Tribune in 1993 as Business and Economy reporter. He rose through the ranks to become the Group Business Editor of the nation’s oldest surviving private national newspaper, the Nigerian Tribune. He set up World Street Journal magazine in 2018.

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