Nigerian credit rating agency, DataPro Limited, yesterday, suspended Tingo Mobile’s Credit Rating due to what it termed the company’s inability to provide the required additional information to sustain the Rating assigned to it.
In May, DataPro assigned a long-term rating of ‘A’ with a positive outlook for 2023/2024 to Tingo Mobile Plc, despite the unfriendly business environment in the country.
However, days after the rating, Hindenburg Research alleged that the fintech firm had “fabricated” its financials while accusing its founder, Dozy Mmobuosi of fabricating parts of his personal and professional history. The revelation led to a dip in the stocks of the NASDAQ-listed company, despite Tingo refuting the report.
The report alleged that Tingo Group, which claims to have diversified business interests in mobile phones, food processing, and online food marketplace for farmers primarily located in Nigeria, lied about its $1.6 billion food processing plant, as well as some of its partnerships and products.
Despite Tingo claiming to have 12 million mobile customers, Hindenburg Research said its checks with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) revealed that it has no record of Tingo being a mobile licensee. It added that Tingo Mobile’s company presentation and its website used stock photos of farmers using mobile phones.
Hindenburg Research also claimed that the groundbreaking ceremony for a planned $1.6bn Nigerian food processing facility by Tingo in February was a rendering of an oil refinery from a stock photo website.
DataPro, yesterday, claimed it suspended Tingo Mobile’s credit rating in line with international best practices over failure to provide clarity about its recent acquisitions and financial structure.
“In the past one week, DataPro has engaged with Tingo Mobile to get clarity about its recent acquisitions and financial structure. Unfortunately, the company has not taken advantage of the timeline for it to provide needed information that will enable us to sustain the Rating assigned,” it said.