MTN seeks operational license to establish bank in Nigeria

A giant telecommunications company in Africa, MTN Group, has revealed readiness to diversify the operations of the Group in Nigeria from the telecoms to the banking industry.

National Daily gathered that Rob Shuter, MTN CEO, at a telecoms conference in Cape Town, South Africa, on Tuesday, revealed that the Group will apply for a mobile banking license in Nigeria, targeting to commence operations in the second quarter of 2019.

“We will be applying for a payment service banking license in Nigeria in the next month or so, and if all goes according to plan, we will also be launching Mobile Money in Nigeria probably around Q2 of 2019,” Shuter declared.

MTN has been having a running battle with the regulating telecoms authorities in Nigeria over a $10 billion penalty. However, negotiations are still going on between the Nigerian Government and the MTN management over the fine.

The Nigerian Government had last month indicated that telecom companies would be allowed to provide banking services, to provide mobile money services, a policy that has been very successful in Kenya, to millions of Nigerians who do not have bank accounts.

MTN operates the largest telecoms network in Nigeria with over 56 million lines.

There are indications that other telecoms companies which include Airtel, a unit of India’s Bharti Airtel, Globacom and 9mobile, may also apply for licenses to operate banking services in Nigeria.