MTN fined heavily because ex-SGF’s kidnappers used unregistered SIM cards

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has ordered MTN to pay a N1.04 trillion fine for breaching rules on SIM card registration.

Chief Olu Falae

According to reports, MTN Nigeria is being fined heftily due to the connection of some of its unregistered SIM cards to the much-publicized abduction of former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Olu Falae.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has ordered MTN to pay a N1.04 trillion fine for breaching rules on SIM card registration.

A report by City Press has it that MTN would not have faced such a huge fine if its disobedience hadn’t been linked to Falae’s abduction.

The former SGF was abducted on September 21, 2015, from his farm in Akure, Ondo State.

“[Falae’s] kidnappers used MTN SIM cards and MTN was unable to provide any registration data for those SIMs,” the NCC said in a report according to City Press.

Sources in the NCC also said that the heavy fine was sustained in a bid to protect national security.

“The government insisted they must be sanctioned to make the right statement. In South Africa you can’t break their laws and get away with it. So why come to Nigeria and flout the laws?” an official of the commission said.

MTN, whose parent company is based in South Africa, had initially pleaded with the NCC to reduce the fine but it has now agreed to pay it.

The penalty has led to a crash in the company’s share price, which has fallen by 19%.

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