N330bn fine: MTN yet to pay complete fine, says NCC

The Executive Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Danbatta has said MTN is yet to fully complete the N330bn fine imposed on it by the NCC for some infractions.

NCC, had in 2015, placed a N1.04 trillion fine on the telco giant for non-compliance with a deadline set by the commission to disconnect all non-registered sim cards.

The move follows accusations by mobile phone users that the regulator had failed to bring operators to account for poor services to subscribers.

After prolonged negotiation with both the regulatory agency and the Federal Government, the company had the fine reduced to N330 billion with an agreement for settlement being spread for over three-year period.

By the terms of agreement, MTN was expected to pay N30 billion into NCC’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in June while the remaining balance was expected to be discharged as follows: N30 billion on 31 March 2017; N55 billion on 31 March 2018; N55 billion on 31 December 2018; N55 billion on 31 March 2019 and N55 billion on 31 May 2019.

In a recently-held interview, Danbatta said MTN Nigeria has so far been able to pay 60 per cent of the fine placed on it by the commission.

According to Dambatta, MTN had up-to-date paid N165 billion and would remit another N50 billion in addition to the rest of the installment payments before the year 2018 runs out.

Dambatta said the N165 billion paid, has since been remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Account of the federation in line with extant laws.

However, MTN is expected to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on or before May 2019, as contained in the agreement over the 2015 fine settlement between the regulator and the telecom company.

In the meantime, MTN has revealed that it has made some progress on its planned listing on the NSE. According to the President MTN Group, Rob Shutter, MTN will list on the Nigerian bourse before the end of this year.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently denied receiving any application from MTN Nigeria Limited regarding its proposed Initial Public Offering (IPO) this has raised concerns on the preparedness of the company for the much-awaited listing.

Talks about the IPO have dominated business reports throughout the year, with rife speculations about the actual details/entailment.

An earlier report had it that the MTN shares’ listing would happen in June 2018. There have also been conflicting reports about the exact amount the company wants to raise through the IPO, including a report that it was hoping to raise about N100 billion. Last month, an MTN spokesperson debunked rumours that MTN had ever hinted at issuing as much as $500 million-valued shares during the IPO.