The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says it is ready to settle the N780 billion fine with MTN out of court and amicably.
Garba Danbatta, the executive vice chairman of the NCC, made the disclosure on Wednesday, adding that the intention is not to kill MTN.
“They (MTN) are trying to get this settled amicably. We have been since then informed by our own counsel that the honourable judge has granted the request for a settlement on the matter,” Danbatta told Reuters.
“The intention is not to kill MTN. 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.”
Adebayo Shittu, the minister of communications has however said time and again, that the final decision on what happens to MTN lies with President Muhammadu Buhari.
The NCC slammed MTN Nigeria with a fine of N1.04 trillion in October 2015, for its failure to disconnect 5.1million unregistered lines.
After numerous meeting and endless negotiations, the fine was relaxed by 25 percent, reducing its value to N780 billion, before MTN went for court.
MTN had filed a law suit, with ten senior advocates of Nigeria (SAN) to defend its case.
On Tuesday however, MTN informed NCC that it wanted an out-of-court settlement.
Mohammed Idris, the presiding judge in a federal high court, Lagos, gave MTN until March 18 to try to reach a settlement over the fine.
Shares in MTN, one of the biggest investors in the west African country, were up 1.7 percent to 124.76 rand.