MTN mulls next move in Nigeria fine debacle

Nigerian regulator reduces fine by 35%...but then changes its mind
MTN mulls next move in Nigeria fine debacle, MTN Nigeria fine, Telecoms

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MTN Nigeria is considering its next move after receiving two letters from the country’s regulator concerning reductions to the $5.2bn fine originally levied against the telco in October.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) handed MTN Nigeria a fine of N1.04 trillion ($5.2bn) in October for failing to fully deactivate 5.2 million subscribers with unregistered and incomplete SIM card details within the deadline given to all mobile phone operators in the country.

MTN said on December 3 that it had received a letter from the NCC stating that the fine had been reduced by 35% to the equivalent of $3.4 billion. But soon after, MTN received a second letter stating that the fine had in fact been reduced by just 25%, to Naira780 billion ($3.9bn). The payment date remains set at December 31.

Neither of the letters set out any details on how the reduction was determined, MTN said in a statement.

“The Company is carefully considering both the First Letter and the Second Letter, and the Executive Chairman Phuthuma Nhleko will immediately and urgently re-engage with the Nigerian Authorities before responding formally, as it is essential for the Company to follow due process to ensure the best outcome for the Company, its stakeholders and the Nigerian Authorities, and accordingly all factors having a bearing on the situation will be thoroughly and carefully considered before the Company arrives at a final decision,” the statement from MTN added.

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