Cyril Ramaphosa, vice president of the South Africa, has called on MTN Nigeria to respect the sanctions imposed on it by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
Speaking to lawmakers in the Cape Town, Ramaphosa said the sanctions would affect South Africa’s revenue generation, but MTN should follow the operating rules.
“We will obviously be taking note of what is happening with a view of seeing how the company involved responds and reacts in this matter,” he said
“We would like our companies to comply with the laws and regulations of countries where they operate, without violating those.
“It does seem like in the case of Nigeria, there were issues, and those issues need to be addressed. If this fine is indeed imposed as it is, it is going to impact on South Africa as well, as our revenue fortunes from a taxation point of view are going to be lower.”
Ramaphosa, who happens to be a former chairman of MTN Group, is reported to be leaving the giant telecommunication company to face the NCC music.
Coincidentally, Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria’s vice president, is also a shareholder in MTN Nigeria, and has distanced himself from diplomatic interventions, saying he has not been in talks with the telco.
MTN group has seen a slump of 14 percent in its shares, since the NCC imposed the strict sanction on the company for failing to disconnect 5.1 million subscribers who had not been duly registered.
According to Bloomberg, South African authorities may be reluctant to confront their Nigerian counterparts following a series of diplomatic spats that have soured relations between Africa’s two biggest economies.
Nic Borain, a political analyst who advises BNP Paribas Cadiz Securities, told Bloomberg that “Ramaphosa’s words about the issue seem weak as they veer too much on the side of caution”.