By Gbenga Ogundare
Embattled mobile telecommunication network, MTN has paid $250 million to the federal government against the backdrop of a multi-billion dollar fine slammed on it by the Nigerian Communication Commission.
Last year, the NCC fined MTN $3.9 billion for failing to disconnect 5.2 million unregistered subscribers in a timely manner.
MTN subsequently challenged the fine in a Lagos court. However, that court adjourned the case to March 18 in order to give the parties a chance to settle out of court.
“Pursuant to the ongoing engagement with the Nigerian Authorities, MTN Nigeria has today made an agreed without prejudice good faith payment of 50 billion naira (US$250m) to the Federal Government of Nigeria on the basis that this will be applied towards a settlement, where one is eventually, hopefully arrived at,” said MTN.
“In an effort to achieve an amicable settlement, MTN has agreed to withdraw the matter from the Federal High Court in Lagos,” said the company.
MTN added that executive chairman of the group, Phuthuma Nhleko and his team are still engaging Nigerian Authorities with “a view to settling the matter”.