Nigeria says telcos must list on stock exchange

The Nigerian government says telecommunication companies operating in Nigeria must quickly conclude plans to get listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) or face regulatory penalties from their compliance failures, reports CommunicationsWeek. Adebayo Shittu, minister of Communications, said the telecommunication outfits must allow their shares to be open for public subscription at the NSE.

Though Shittu did not disclose any deadline for this to happen, he explained that the government would eventually take punitive actions against firms that fail on this. He added that the firms must be willing to give Nigerian investors the opportunity to be part of their businesses and the eventual outcomes from them in terms of profits and losses. Recently, there were indications that the MTN Group might put off plans to list its Nigerian operation until 2018 as the operator was working to resolve a regulatory dispute.

MTN agreed to list the unit in Nigeria as part of the settlement of a NGN 330 billion fine imposed by the government for missing a deadline to disconnect unregistered subscribers. It said in July that the listing would take place in 2017, subject to market conditions. Since then, a senator’s allegations that it moved USD 14 billion out of the country had threatened to delay the process.