MTN Pays N235bn Fine for SIM Registration Offences

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Emma Okonji

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yes-terday said MTN Nigeria Communications Limited had paid a total of N235 billion out of the N330 billion fine it imposed on the mobile telecommunications operator in August 2015.

Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, confirmed this in an interview with journalists in Abuja on the sidelines of a valedictory press briefing by the Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu.

Danbatta said due to the major industry dispute, Nigerians now have the opportunity to own part of the mobile telecommunications network following the public listing of the company at the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) last Thursday.

The NCC boss said, “We have succeeded in empowering Nigerians to own, control and manage one of the dominant telecommunication companies in the country by MTN listing in the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

“Arising from the settlement agreement reached with MTN through the payment of N330 billion to government coffers of which they have paid N235 billion remaining the last tranche.

NCC had in October 2015 imposed a fine of N1.04 trillion on MTN for irregular registration of 5.2 million subscribers.

However, after prolonged negotiation with both the regulatory agency and the federal government, the fine was reduced to N330 billion.

Public listing was one of the conditions arrived at with the telecommunications company before the federal government agreed to reduce the penalty to N330 billion.

The federal government also agreed to spread the payment of the fine in tranches spread over a period of three
years.