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Mega Fine: MTN still owing FG N220Bn



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MTN Nigeria would still need to pay N220 billion into the coffers of the federal government to settle the N330 billion fine imposed on the telecoms group for not disconnecting unregistered SIM cards.

Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has confirmed that the telecom giant has paid a total of N110 billion out of the record fine.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC, disclosed this at a workshop on Code of Corporate Governance organized by the commission in Kano.

MTN Nigeria was originally fined N1.04 trillion on October 2015 for failing to deactivate more than five million unregistered SIM cards.

However, after prolonged negotiation with both the regulatory agency and the federal government; the company had the fine reduced to N330 billon.

The settlement also paved the way for MTN to list its subsidiary on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

Danbatta said that the matter had been resolved with an agreement for settlement over a three-year period signed between the agency and MTN.

He said the payment was spread over a three-year period because the intention was not to snuff life out of MTN.

The NCC boss said, “Current evaluation report of the state of the industry suggests that whilst 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 telecommunication services; and that service delivery by providers are qualitative and efficient.