MTN Pays N165bn Out Of N330bn Fine – NCC
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that MTN had paid N165 billion out of the N330 billion fine imposed on it due to its inability to disconnect improperly registered SIM cards.
Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC said this yesterday in Abuja when MTN Group, led by its Chairman in Nigeria, Pascal Dozie visited the commission. The telecom regulator had in October 2015 imposed a fine of N1.04 trillion on MTN Nigeria for not complying with government’s rule on deactivation of unregistered SIM cards.
Besides, the fine was imposed on MTN for not disconnecting about 5.1 million improperly registered lines in its network within the stipulated deadline. After several appeals and negotiations including diplomatic intervention by the South African government, the fine was reduced to N330 billion.
MTN initially made a commitment payment of N50billion to the government while the remaining balance of N280 billion was to be paid in six tranches in accordance with the agreements between the regulator and MTN. He said that the installmental payment was in line with the terms of agreement reached between MTN and the regulatory body.
According to Mr Danbatta, the fine was aimed at ensuring that it was not business as usual but to ensure that the rules of engagement were respected, adding that the commission would continue to cooperate with the telecom company because of its major contributions to the economic and digital growth of the nation’s economy. Danbatta said: “I am happy to inform you that our agreement with MTN on how and when to pay the fine has been adhered to. “Just last month, March, we received a cheque of N55 billion from MTN as part of the fine payment plan.
“This brought the total fine paid by MTN Nigeria to N165billion, that is about half of the fine. “It is a whopping sum of money and they have not defaulted and these payments they are making is consistent with the terms of agreement we reached with them.”