N780b NCC fine: MTN withdraws suit, pays N50billion

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

In renewed steps towards a negotiated settlement and to create a conducive atmosphere for further negotiations, MTN Nigeria has withdrawn its case against the regulator, the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) at the Federal High Court of Lagos in response to a request by the authorities.

MTN Nigeria CEO Ferdi  Moolman, speaking on the issue, said: “This is a most encouraging development. It demonstrates a willingness and sincerity by both parties to work together towards a positive outcome”.

Furthermore MTN Nigeria has paid N50 billion to  the Federal Government as a gesture of good faith and commitment to continued efforts  towards  an amicable resolution.

The NCC had imposed a N1.04 Trillion fine on MTN Nigeria in October  2015,  for its failure to disconnect 5.1 million improperly registered  lines within the prescribed deadline.  Subsequently the fine was adjusted by 25% to N780 billion , an amount that was considered inimical  to the survival of the business. MTN Nigeria subsequently sought  judicial determination as a means of protecting the local ecosystems   valued and    supported  by MTN’s business.

Speaking about the withdrawal of the court case and the N50 Billion payment, The Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria Ferdi Moolman stated that “We are hopeful at this stage. Along with the  authorities, it is clear that  we are  collectively committed to working towards  a solution that is of mutual benefit to all parties.  Our industry in  Nigeria is  an incredibly  important example  of  the remarkable progress in  ICT  particularly as a much needed  catalyst for socio economic growth and development  at this time.”

 

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