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NCC ‘shifts ground’ on MTN fine deadline

NCC ‘shifts ground’ on MTN fine deadline
November 16
13:57 2015

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has shifted grounds on the November 16 deadline it gave MTN Nigeria to pay a fine of N1.04tr, the telco has said.

In a statement addressed to its shareholders on Monday, MTN said its newly-appointed chief executive officer, Phuthuma Nhleko, is leading talks with NCC to review the fine.

“Shareholders are advised that the executive chairman of the company, Mr Phuthuma Nhleko, has personally met with the Nigerian authorities to continue the ongoing discussions with them regarding the fine,” the statement said.

“These discussions include matters of non-compliance and the remedial measures that may have to be adopted to address this.

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“Shareholders are advised that the Nigerian authorities have, without prejudice, agreed that the imposed fine will not be payable until the negotiations have been concluded.”

The fine which was announced on October 26 has seen MTN lose about 24 percent of its market value in less than one month, driving the resignation of its chief executive.

According to Bloomberg, MTN denied a media report that the company had asked for a staggered payment plan for the fine.

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“We have arrived at no agreement nor requested, as has been alleged in some media reports, such staggered payments with the authorities in Nigeria,” spokesman Chris Maroleng had said.

Adebayo Shittu, minister for communications, had said Nigeria does not want MTN to leave, saying “if any new thing would happen, there must be initiative from concerned quarters”.

“It is up to MTN. Nobody wants MTN to die. Nobody wants MTN to shut down, we don’t want them to leave,” he told Reuters.

The fine was calculated at N200,000 for one unregistered SIM card, amounting at N1.04tr for 5.1 million unregistered subscriber.

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