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MTN CEO kicked out of Benin

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Benin's telecoms regulator ARCEP initiated a process to review the reasons why MTN has not paid outstanding invoices on frequency fees.
Benin's telecoms regulator ARCEP initiated a process to review the reasons why MTN has not paid outstanding invoices on frequency fees.

MTN Group has confirmed that Stephen Blewett, the CEO of MTN Benin, has received official notification from the government of Benin, requesting him to leave the country by 24 November 2017.

According to MTN, the reason cited for this request is Blewett's engagement in "activities detrimental to security and public order".

Last week, Benin's telecoms regulator ARCEP initiated a process to review the reasons why MTN has not paid outstanding invoices on frequency fees for 2016 and 2017 in that country.

On 30 March, the government of Benin issued MTN Benin frequency fees invoices for an amount equivalent to approximately $213 million (R3 billion) for the period March 2016 to December 2017, MTN explained in a SENS statement.

Following Blewett's expulsion, MTN says it has taken note of the government's concerns, however refutes these allegations.

"Mr Blewett will abide by the government's request and will leave Benin by the date stipulated by local authorities," the telco says in a statement.

"Since commencing his tenure as CEO of MTN in Benin, Mr Blewett has discharged his duties as directed by MTN Group with the utmost integrity and in accordance with the laws of Benin. He has also been an active member of Benin's community and has formed strong bonds with the people of that country, whose traditions and culture he enjoyed sharing since his arrival in 2015.

"MTN Group wishes to reiterate our unwavering commitment to the people of Benin. As the largest mobile network in that country, our focus continues to be on delivering the best quality products and services to our customers."

Blewett is former MD of Altech Autopage Cellular and was and marketing and sales executive of Telkom's 8ta since 2009.

He left Telkom in May 2012 following a leadership shake-up.

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