Nigeria’s government wants MTN to withdraw its court case against the country’s telecoms regulator regarding a $3.9 billion fine, in what appears a pre-condition for any out-of-court settlement.
Last week, a federal high court judge in Lagos gave MTN a deadline of 18 March to settle the issue outside of court, following the operator saying it would not pay a “dime or penny” of the fine imposed by the Nigerian Communications Commission in October.
While telecoms minister Adebayo Shittu said he was not aware of any out-of-court settlement, he added that if the case is withdrawn, “it creates a better environment where there is no stress or pressure on either side”.
Shittu’s comments were reported by a number of media outlets, including Reuters.
He also said President Muhammadu Buhari will have the final say on the matter, effectively setting another pre-condition.
The fine, which originally stood at $5.2 billion, was cut by 25 per cent after lengthy negotiations, but MTN was still not satisfied, and said in December it would take the issue to court.