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$5.2 billion fine: MTN gets soft landing



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Embattled telecom giant, MTN has finally been given a soft landing by the Federal Government of Nigeria as the $5.2 billion fine imposed on its Nigeria operations by the Nigerian Communication Commission has been reduced to $3.4 billion, National Daily learnt.
National Daily gathered that MTN has been in talks with high ranking officials from the NCC since October on ways to resolve the debacle which has affected the stocks of the company in South Africa as well the resignation of the Group Chief Executive Officer, Sifiso Dabengwa last month.
In the wake of the announcement of the fine in late October, MTN’s group chief executive officer Sifiso Dabengwa subsequently quit amid the company’s share price losing a fifth of its value. MTN’s former CEO Phuthuma Nhleko was then appointed as executive chairperson and tasked with tackling the fine.
Announcing the resolution earlier today, MTN said its Nigeria CEO, Micheal Ikpoki has resigned, and that the former chief operating officer and chief financial officer at MTN Nigeria, Ferdi Moolman, will become the new CEO and Amina Oyagbola has also been named head of regulatory and corporate affairs at MTN Nigeria.
MTN, which also made senior management changes following the resignation of its Nigerian chief executive, said it would “urgently e-engage” with the Nigerian authorities before responding formally to the NCC decision to reduce fine.
The company was sanctioned by the commission on its failure to disconnect 5.1 million unregistered subscribers from its network.
The NCC had in August directed mobile telecoms service providers in the country to deactivate all unregistered SIM cards or face severe sanctions.
While other networks complied substantially with the directive, the NCC said MTN refused to comply and after the deadline to deactivate its unregistered subscribers elapsed, a 200,000-naira ($1,008) fine was imposed for each unregistered SIM. And was given until November 16, 2015 to pay up the fine or risk losing its operating license in the country.

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