Abuja - The President of the Senate, Dr
Bukola Saraki said on Thursday that the $13.9 billion allegedly repatriated by
MTN Nigeria was enough to pull the country out of recession.
Saraki disclosed this while opening the legislative hearing
on the alleged repatriation of the funds by MTN, nation’s giant telecoms
provider, in connivance with some Nigerian banks and individuals.
The investigative hearing is being conducted by the Senate
Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions.
The President of the Senate, who was represented by the Majority Whip of the
Senate, Olusola Adeyeye said that the amount involved was mind boggling.
“The amount of money involved in the alleged repatriation by
MTN could pull Nigeria out of recession.
“We are duty bound to make sure that such breach of
constitutional processes are investigated; be assured that this is not
witch-hunt but a fact finding exercise.
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“This 8th senate has devoted a lot of attention on
legislation's that will improve the business environment.
“This hearing goes to show this commitment and so we expect
maximum cooperation from the regulatory authorities; failure to do so will mean
“We intend to get to the bottom of this and get the facts
and nothing but the fact.
“At the end of this, based on the calibre of people that are
here, Nigerian will get to know the truth about what transpired,” he said.
Saraki urged the committee to be thorough in their investigation.
In his opening remark, the Chairman of the Committee, Sen.
Rafiu Ibrahim, said that the investigation was not a witch-hunt but an avenue
to block loopholes and revenue leakages.
He berated the individuals, who did not honour the
invitation of the senate, stressing that they would be handled appropriately.
Meanwhile, Sen. Dino Melaye, alleged that the crime of repatriating funds was
not done by only MTN.
Melaye, who blew the whistle on MTN on the alleged
repatriation, said that a number of multinational companies were also engaging
in repatriation of funds.
He expressed hope that those companies which had been
engaging in the repatriation would also be uncovered by the investigation.