Telecoms giant succumbs to N1.04trn pressure

MTN has finally bowed to pressure as it has accepted to pay the N1.04 trillion fine slammed on it last week by the telecoms regulatory authority, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

A man speaks on a mobile phone as he walks past a MTN shop at a shopping mall south of Johannesburg June 6, 2012. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

MTN was fined for violating the directive of the Nigerian Communications Commission on SIM deactivation.

The telecoms operator which has largest subscriber base in Nigeria, it was gathered, may have agreed to pay the fine to sustain the interest of its telecoms business.

Industry sources who confirmed the new arrangement, disclosed that the federal government is already yielding to the plea, which according to him, was part of the agreement reached at the series of meeting held at the weekend in Nigeria, Vanguard reports.

The source told Vanguard:

“There have been series of meeting at the Presidency between the and MTN team both from South Africa and the Nigerian arm. MTN wanted a waiver considering their level of investments in the country, but government did not buy the idea of waiver. Instead, I think there will be concession, but certainly not a waiver. At the conclusion of the meeting, the MTN people negotiated on how to stagger the payment. The Presidency is even angry because MTN was a signatory to the regulation, but they are failing to comply with rules."

Although NCC had hinted that the issue is being handled by the federal government, the telecoms authority also noted that MTN would risk withdrawal of its licence if its fails to comply with the fine.

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