NCC backtracks on MTN fine reduction

NCC backtracks on MTN fine reduction

04 DEC 2015

Nigeria’s telecoms regulator is prepared to reduce MTN’s $5.2 billion fine by 25 per cent, backtracking on an earlier offer to reduce the penalty by about one third.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) wrote to the operator yesterday (3 December) saying it was prepared to reduce its fine to $3.9 billion.  Its previous letter on 2 December promised to cut it to $3.4 billion.

No explanation was given by NCC for its change of mind. Nor did either letter explain how the two reductions were calculated.

The deadline for payment of the fine remains unchanged at 31 December 2015.

MTN is facing the fine after failing to cut off 5.1 million unregistered SIM cards from its network, with NCC stepping up efforts to verify the identity of subscribers amid concerns about terrorism.

The situation has proved traumatic for MTN with three senior executives resigning in the wake of the fine and the company reeling from the crisis.

MTN said it is “carefully considering” both letters and will immediately talk to the Nigerian authorities before making a formal response.

MTN’s response is being led by executive chairman Phutuma Nhkelo, following the resignation of group president and CEO Sifiso Dabengwa last month. Two more executives tended their resignation yesterday – MTN Nigeria CEO Michael Ikpoki and the head of regulatory and corporate affairs, Akinwale Goodluck.


Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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