By Adedeji Adeyemi Fakorede
Executive Vice Chairman, of the Nigerian C o m m u n i c a t i o n s Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has said that the Commission may consider MTN Nigeria plea to settle its dispute out of court.
Speaking at an international press conference in Lagos, Danbatta explained that NCC’s counsels were already talking with MTN’s counsels on the issue of out of court deal.
The EVC said, “I can confirm that MTN still seeks out of court settlement. MTN is trying to get this issue settled amicably. We have been informed by our own counsel that the Honourable Judge handling the case has granted the request for a settlement on the matter.
“The intention is not to kill MTN because we would like the industry to continue. We would like it to be vibrant and I think this is a matter that needs to be resolved amicably and we are working towards that”, he said.
It would be recalled that NCC, had fined MTN $5.2 billion in October, 2015 for failing to disconnect users with unregistered SIM cards by a set date.
After weeks of talks with MTN, which makes about 37 per cent of its revenue from Nigeria, the fine was slashed by 25 per cent or N780 billion.
The EVC pointed out that MTN had filed a law suit, but that the NCC was told by its lawyers late on Tuesday that it wanted an out-of-court settlement.
On the net worth of the sector, the EVC disclosed that ICT has contributed over N500 billion in revenue to the coffers of the Federal Government, and that there was every indication for the current 11 per cent contribution to the Gross Domestic Progression (GDP),to rise astronomically in the years ahead.