MTN fine battle continues

Airtel and Access Bank Plc launched Access Money Service at Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, NigeriaThe debacle around MTN Nigeria’s record fine from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) continues to rumble on with the NCC reversing an earlier decision to reduce the amount. 

As reported reported last month MTN received a record $5.2B fine in NigeriaThe Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) fined MTN for failing to deactivate 5.1 million unregistered cellphone SIM cards by an August deadline, despite many warnings. It’s a national security issue in Nigeria, where law enforcers say Islamic extremists use mobile phones to detonate bombs and criminals use them in kidnappings and armed robberies.

After a corporate fall out which has resulted in the CEO of MTN Group and MTN Nigeria both resigning and MTN’s share price falling 16% this has been a damaging episode for MTN.  The issue this week seemed to be drawing to a close when MTN received a formal letter dated 2 December 2015 from the NCC informing the company that, after considering the company’s request, it had taken the decision to reduce the fine imposed on the MTN Nigerian by 35%.

According to MTN , late on 3 December 2015, the day after receipt of the first letter, MTN received a further letter from the NCC which informed the company that the fine had actually been reduced by 25% to 780 Billion Naira and not by 35% to 674 Billion Naira, and the payment date remained 31 December 2015.

In  a statement MTN said that “The company is carefully considering both the First Letter and the Second Letter, and the Executive Chairman Phuthuma Nhleko will immediately and urgently re-engage with the Nigerian Authorities before responding formally.”

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