24 February 2016

Nigeria: N1.04 Trillion Fine - MTN Withdraws Suit Against FG, Pays N50 Billion

Photo: Daily Trust
MTN Nigeria walk-in centre

Lagos — MTN Nigeria on Wednesday said it has paid N50 billion to the Federal Government as a gesture of good faith and commitment to continued efforts towards an amicable resolution of the N1.04 trillion fine slammed against it by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The telecommunications giant said the development was in a renewed steps towards a negotiated settlement and to create a conducive atmosphere for further negotiations.

The firm also confirmed withdrawal of its case against the NCC at the Federal High Court of Lagos in response to a request by the Nigerian authorities.

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 too high to the survival of the business by the company's stakeholders.

MTN Nigeria subsequently sought judicial determination afterwards. When the telecoms firm sought an out of court settlement, the Nigerian government insisted that it must withdraw the suit it instituted before a consideration could be given.

Speaking about the withdrawal of the court case and the N50 billion payment, the Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria Ferdi Moolman said: " 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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