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We may pay less than N1.04tr, says new MTN CEO

We may pay less than N1.04tr, says new MTN CEO
November 10
17:33 2015

Phuthuma Nhleko, the new chief executive officer (CEO) of MTN Group, has hinted that the telecommunications company may not pay the entire N1.04tr fine of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Nhleko was named CEO of MTN after Sifiso Dabengwa stepped down as the chief executive officer on Monday.

“I can’t say whether we’ll pay the whole fine. I don’t want to negotiate with Nigerian regulators on a public forum,” Nhleko told a South African radio station on Tuesday.

He has been brought on the scene to settle the crisis rocking the Nigerian subsidiary of the company, which also happens to be the organisation’s largest revenue generating firm.

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MTN was fined N1.04tr for failure to disconnect 5.1 million unregistered SIM cards, with a November 16 deadline to ensure the payment.

Chris Maroleng, MTN spokesman, said the company is doing all within its power to explore all possible outcomes.

“The planning is based on all possible outcomes and contingencies and our aim is to comply with all regulations in Nigeria,” he said.

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Nhleko is pulling out all the stops to get the fine reduced, according to Reuters.

“Nhleko will bring the matter to a conclusion,” 36One Asset Management analyst Jean-Pierre Verster, told the news agency.

“I expect there will be a discount of somewhere between 5 percent and 75 percent.”

Shares in MTN were down 3.9 percent at 153.75 rand by 1252 GMT on Tuesday, compared to a 1.6 percent drop in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s benchmark Top-40 index.

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