MTN Plans Withdrawal from Nigeria Market

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MTN Nigeria says it will not pay a dime or penny to the Nigerian Communications Commission [NCC] in respect of the N780Bn fine imposed on the telecom operator by the industry regulator for failing to deactivate unregistered SIM cards on its network.

A top official of MTN Nigeria confided in Business Journal that the telecom operator has perfected two grand strategies to avoid paying the fine to NCC.

“I can tell you that MTN Nigeria will not pay a single penny or dime to the NCC. We have already instructed the seven Senior Advocates of Nigeria [SANs] handling our legal action against NCC to keep the matter perpetually in court, up to the Supreme Court, by all means necessary until Buhari leaves office or Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman of NCC completes his five-year term.

Now, even if Buhari and Danbatta secure a second term, that would be eight and 1O years respectively, but we can keep the case in court beyond 1O years.”

The MTN official insisted that the operator cannot pay such huge fine without going under, arguing that what the NCC did was clearly in bad faith, not what they expected from a regulator.

He said the second strategy is to withdraw from Nigeria and expand to more African nations to make up for any revenue shortfall in terms of the Group.

“Our second strategy is to leave the Nigerian market entirely and expand into other territories in Africa and probably, the Middle East, to cushion the expected revenue gap from Nigeria.”

He called on Nigerians to prevail on the NCC to soft pedal on the fine, which he described as an attempt by the industry regulator to kill MTN Nigeria.

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