MTN Nigeria today said it has paid N50 billion to the government towards “towards an amicable resolution” of the impasse sparked by the N1.04 trillion fine imposed against the mobile phone company for non-registration of over 5.2 million subscribers.
In the last quarter of 2015, MTN Nigeria Communications Limited, the local mobile telephony unit of MTN Group of South was fined the sum of N1,040,000,000,000 (one trillion forty billion naira) by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for its failure to deactivate 5.2 million improperly registered MSISDN (SIMs), the telecoms watchdog said, as exclusively reported by Technology Times at the time.
Subsequently the fine was adjusted by 25% to N780 Billion, “an amount that was considered inimical to the survival of the business. MTN Nigeria subsequently sought judicial determination as a means of protecting the local ecosystems valued and supported by MTN’s business”, according to the mobile phone company.
CEO, MTN Nigeria, Ferdi Moolman, also confirmed that the mobile phone company today withdrew its case against the NCC at the Federal High Court of Lagos “in response to a request by the authorities”, according to a statement sent to Technology Times.
Moolman says the mobile phone company’s decision to honour government’s request to withdraw the lawsuit filed by MTN Nigeria represents “renewed steps towards a negotiated settlement and to create a conducive atmosphere for further negotiations.”
According to him, “Furthermore MTN Nigeria has paid N50 Billion to the Federal Government as a gesture of good faith and commitment to continued efforts towards an amicable resolution.”
According to Moolman, “this is a most encouraging development. It demonstrates a willingness and sincerity by both parties to work together towards a positive outcome.”
The MTN Nigeria CEO further expressed the hope that at this stage, “along with the authorities, it is clear that we are collectively committed to working towards a solution that is of mutual benefit to all parties. Our industry in Nigeria is an incredibly important example of the remarkable progress in ICT particularly as a much needed catalyst for socio economic growth and development at this time.”