UPDATE 1-MTN shakes up Nigeria board, appoints ex-telecoms regulatory chief as next chair

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By Chijioke Ohuocha

ABUJA, July 24 (Reuters) – MTN Nigeria has appointed former telecoms regulatory chief Ernest Ndukwe as chairman-designate in a board shake-up following its debut stock market listing on the Nigerian bourse.

Majority owned by South Africa’s MTN Group, MTN Nigeria listed in Lagos in May in a 2 trillion naira ($6.54 billion) debut, in part to settle a long-running dispute in Nigeria, its biggest market.

That listing turned the telecoms company into the exchange’s second-largest stock by market value.

Ndukwe, ex-chief executive of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), will take over from Pascal Dozie, who has been at the helm for almost two decades, on Sept. 2, MTN said.

In addition to Ndukwe, MTN has appointed former Nigerian pension regulatory chief Muhammad Ahmad, ex-minister for communication Omobola Johnson and ex-banker Andrew Alli who once represented the International Finance Corporation to MTN Nigeria’s board.

“(The) combination of extensive experience across the worlds of technology, finance, regulatory and policy development and corporate governance offers a hugely synergistic set of skills that will be of great benefit to us as we move into a new phase of growth,” MTN Nigeria Chief Executive Ferdinand Moolman said.

MTN Nigeria grew to become Nigeria’s biggest telecoms firm under Dozie, who steps down alongside five other directors after 18 years at the helm of the company.

In December, MTN agreed to make a $53 million payment to resolve a multibillion-dollar dividend repatriation row in Nigeria after it paid over $1 billion to settle a dispute over unregistered SIM cards and agreed to list on Nigeria’s bourse. (Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Mark Potter and Tom Brown)

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