MTN, Africa’s top mobile operator is hopeful that in a matter of weeks it would resolve the N780 billion fine on MTN Nigeria as discussion with Nigerian authorities is nearing to a close just as its Executive Chairman, Phutuma Nhleko prepares to exit.
Nhleko who assumed the role of Executive Chairman, MTN Group on November 9, 2015 following the immediate resignation of Sifiso Dabengwa as MTN Group President and chief executive officer (CEO).
He agreed to act as executive chairman for a maximum period of six month May 9, 2016 while the company identifies a successor for Dabengwa.
Nhleko took the job in order to “proactively deal” with the Nigerian authorities after Dabengwa resigned, Nhleko said at the time.
Nhleko won’t return to a non-executive role before he comes to an agreement with the Nigerian Attorney General, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private.
The plan for an on-time departure provides a ray of clarity, however thin, into a murky, months-long crisis that’s gutted the share value of Johannesburg-based MTN by one-third.
There’s a shortlist of three candidates to become the new CEO, according to the person familiar with the matter.