The Nigerian Communications Commission, the nation’s telecoms industry regulator, has confirmed the payment of N165 billion by the MTN, Nigeria’s largest telecoms operator by subscriber base.
The payment is part of the N330 billion fine imposed on the telco in August 2015 following its failure to disconnect SIM cards not properly registered.
The Nigerian authorities had initially imposed a N1.04 trillion fine on the telecoms operator but the amount was slashed after several appeals by MTN and diplomatic moves by the South African government. The fine was subsequently agreed to be paid instalmentally.
Speaking on the compliance of MTN with the agreement to pay the fine in instalments, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said the telecommunication company had paid N165 billion so far.
Danbatta gave this hint on Monday in Abuja when MTN Group, led by its Chairman in Nigeria, Dr Pascal Dozie visited the commission, expressed his delight over the telco’s compliance with the agreed payment terms so far.
He said: “I am happy to inform you that our agreement with MTN on how and when to pay the fine has been adhered to. Just last month, March, we received a cheque of N55 billion from MTN as part of the fine payment plan.
“This brought the total fine paid by MTN Nigeria to N165 billion, that is about half of the fine. It is a whopping sum of money and they have not defaulted and these payments they are making is consistent with the terms of agreement we reached with them”, the industry ombudsman added
He reiterated that the fine was imposed by the authorities to ensure industry discipline and to make sure that the rules of engagement were respected by all players.
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