NCC says $5.2 billion fine remains

NCC said the fine, which was the second in two months on MTN after an earlier 102.2 million naira ($513,697) fine, remains but appeals may affect the payment deadline.

A billboard advertising MTN telecommunication company is seen along a road in Lagos November 16, 2015. Nigeria is standing by a $5.2 billion fine imposed on MTN Group for failing to disconnect unregistered SIM cards though Monday's payment deadline may lapse while a company appeal is considered, Nigeria's telecoms regulator said.  REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

Nigeria's telecom regulator said on Monday it was looking into MTN's plea for leniency after imposing a $5.2 billion fine on the South African telecom group for failing to disconnect unregistered lines, but said the fine remains.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said the mobile telecom firm had written a letter on Nov. 2 admitting failure to disconnect unregistered SIM cards and pleaded for leniency, NCC spokesman Tony Ojobo said in a statement.

NCC said the fine, which was the second in two months on MTN after an earlier 102.2 million naira ($513,697) fine, remains but appeals may affect the payment deadline. The payment deadline for the fine was originally set for Nov. 16.

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