Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment has denied allegations leveled against him by Senator Dino Melaye that he colluded with MTN to illegally transfer $13.92illion from Nigeria from 2006 to 2016.
Dino Melaye had in a motion on the floor of the Senate alleged that MTN illegally transferred $13.9 billion out of Nigeria with the help of the minister who he claimed is the owner of CELTELCOM ltd.
In a statement signed by the Director Press, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment Greyne Anosike, Enelamah denied ownership and said neither was he ever a shareholder of Celtelecom ltd. The statement reads
“Our attention has been drawn to a statement credited to a serving Nigerian Senator on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday September 27, 2016, making a number of allegations against the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah regarding improper remittance of funds out of Nigeria. We are compelled to make clear the following: Dr. Enelamah served as the CEO of Capital Alliance Nigeria Limited (CANL) between 1998 and 2015.
CANL is a wholly owned subsidiary of African Capital Alliance (“ACA”), an Africa focused private equity firm with investments in carefully selected companies within and outside Nigeria, including MTN Nigeria. A fund managed by ACA, alongside other minority shareholders, invested in MTN Nigeria through Celtelecom.
Dr Enelamah was never the “owner” of Celtelecom as alleged by the Senator; neither was he ever a Celtelecom shareholder. Instead he was a director of the company, representing the ACA managed fund. Investors do not have responsibility for remittance of proceeds from the company they invest in. Therefore, at no time was Dr. Enelamah in a position to transfer funds out of Nigeria on behalf of MTN Nigeria, and at no time did Dr. Enelamah transfer any funds out of Nigeria on behalf of MTN Nigeria. Celtelecom’s investment in MTN Nigeria “As it relates to Celtelecom’s investment in MTN Nigeria, it is important to note that the entire process for applying for and using CCIs was done by MTN Nigeria. Dr Enelamah resigned all his board positions, including from ACA and Celtelecom, consequent to his appointment as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
While Dr. Enelamah welcomes any investigations the Senate may decide to carry out on the activities of these companies, it should be noted that all the allegations as made by the Senator are without merit and baseless’.