The Federal Government team led by the Attorney General of the Federation, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, (SAN) is to review the conditions of the N50 billion paid by MTN Nigeria to negotiate the N1.04 billion fine imposed on the mobile phone company, the telecoms regulator said today.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), which dropped this hint also confirmed that it was today notified of MTN Nigeria’s N50 billion payment by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.
Tony Ojobo, Director of Public Affairs at NCC said in a press statement made available to Technology Times this afternoon that the telecoms regulatory agency can now confirm the payment by MTN Nigeria, an act of good faith to begin resolution of the fines.
“The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, wishes to affirm Federal Government’s receipt of the Sum of N50,000,000,000 (Fifty Billion Naira Only), towards settlement of the fine imposed on MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd by the Commission, and its withdrawal of Suit No FHC/1923/2015 – MTN Vs. NCC & HAGF”, according to NCC.
According to Ojobo, “the official information to the Commission to that effect, was received from the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, today, 29th February, 2016.”
Ojobo adds that based on the payment conditions, “the amount is an unconditional good faith payment, on the basis that this sum would be applied towards eventual settlement agreement for payment of the fine imposed by the Commission, where the ongoing negotiations between the Federal Government and the company reaches a final resolution.”
NCC also confirmed that Federal Government’s negotiating team will be led by the Attorney General of the Federation, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN. On the other hand, MTN’s team is led by former U.S. Attorney General and Head of Covington & Burling LLP, Washington DC, Mr Eric H. Holder, Jr.
According to Ojobo, ” on the basis of out of court settlement, the Federal Government team, is expected to deliberate on the merits and demerits of the terms of payment of the fine imposed on MTN by the Commission for its failure to deactivate invalid SIM Cards as directed by the Commission, thereby contravening the provisions of the regulation on SIM Card Registration.”
NCC says that, “the receipt of the amount, and withdrawal of the suit is without prejudice to the final decision of government on the terms of payment being proposed by the company.”