MTN losses N110bn in sanctions

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  • Incurs total of N330bn fines
MTN has suffered cumulative loss of N110 billion in payment of sanctions in recent time.   
The company incurred a total of N330 billion fines imposed on it by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) for breach of some of the regulatory rules.
Accordingly, MTN paid the sum of N110 billion to the Federal Government.
The Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, was gathered to have revealed
the figure at a workshop in Kano where he declared that the commission is rejigging its regulatory activities to ensure that telecommunications consumers get value for their money.
The NCC had in October 2015 imposed a fine of N1.04 trillion on MTN for irregular registration of subscribers. However, after prolonged negotiation with both the regulatory agency and the Federal Government, the Commission reduced the fine to N330 billion.
Danbatta said the fine had been resolved between the regulatory agency and the telecommunications operator with an agreement for settlement over a three-year period.
He added that the payment of the fine was spread over a period of three years because the intention was not to snuff life out of MTN.
The NCC boss stated, “Current evaluation report of the state of the industry suggests that while not understating the impact of other external and fiscal issues confronting the sector, that most challenges negatively affecting the health of operators in the sector today are attributable to poor governance issues.
“It is currently rejigging its regulatory oversights in the areas of ensuring that consumers get cost-effective value for money spent on telecommunications services; and that service delivery by providers are qualitative and efficient.”
Also speaking at the event, the Chairman, NCC Board of Commissioners, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, said some telecommunications service providers were feeding fat on masking international calls terminating on Nigerian networks.
Durojaiye warned the concerned operators to desist from call masking activities or face the consequences of their actions soon.
He said, “The commission is particularly concerned with issues of massive interconnection indebtedness and the unethical practice of masking of international calls. These sorts of unethical behaviours are part of what the Code of Corporate Governance is set up to address.
“Henceforth, the commission will be taking very tough measures against any detected unethical behaviour and industrial malpractice in order to safeguard the health of the entire industry. Compliance with the spirit of the code is a necessity.
“Going forward, the commission, as part of its initiatives to ensure compliance, will intensify monitoring level of compliance. To encourage satisfactory compliance, the commission has instituted an annual reward system to recognise and commend the most compliant companies.”
Durojaiye added that good corporate governance was the best form of self-regulation and that licensees of the commission were encouraged to consider it in their own best interest so as to imbibe and implement the principles enshrined in the code.

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