Anti-corruption agency to investigate failed Vodacom/V-Mobile deal

21 Jun 2004

Nigeria’s primary anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), is to investigate the failed business deal between South African mobile group Vodacom and V-Mobile (formerly Econet Wireless Nigeria). The announcement follows the recent ending of a five-year management contract between the two companies – apparently by mutual consent – just two months after it was signed, with Vodacom citing ‘irregularities’ in the payment of brokerage fees. Although Vodacom claims not to have been informed of the development, the EFCC is to probe the deal to assess to what degree transparency and corporate government have been compromised in the relationship between the two. The news of the investigation has been welcomed by Econet chairman and founder Strive Masiyiwa whose Econet Wireless International division is embroiled in litigation with Vodacom and V-Mobile. Masiyiwa is on record as saying that he was ‘delighted to learn that action is being taken by the Nigerian government to investigate corrupt business practices and disclose any unethical dealings’.

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