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'Lifting of suspended regulatory services not connected to N780 billion fine' - NCC

The NCC had fined MTN Nigeria N1.04 trillion for failure to deactivate 5.2million unregistered SIM cards. These infractions predated this fine.

A customer leaves an MTN shop in Johannesburg April 10, 2012. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Media reports reveal the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that lifting of the ban on regulatory services which it placed on MTN Nigeria for several regulatory infractions is not related to the fine the Commission imposed on the telecom company back in October 2015.

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The letter lifting the suspension of regulatory services to MTN, signed by Mr. Efosa Idehen, Head, Compliance, Monitoring/Enforcement and Mrs. Yetunde Akinloye, Head, Legal & Regulatory Services, stated that the suspension was lifted due to the barrage of letters from MTN to the NCC requesting for the lifting.

“We have reviewed MTN’s plea and also took into consideration the fact that MTN has abated all the infractions that gave rise to the suspension of regulatory services by the Commission,” the letter stated.

The infractions included but are not limited to tariffs and promotions by MTN according to letters from the NCC on May 4, 2015, May 9, 2015 and May 25, 2015 respectively to withdraw unapproved tariffs and promotions specifically MTN Trutalk, MTN Best II promotions amongst others.

Compliance checks on MTN showed that it had ignored the NCC's directives and deliberately refused to comply with said directives.

The company continued to introduce additional promotions, contrary to the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003 and Regulation 8(2) of the Enforcement Regulations 2005 and the relevant provisions in the Guidelines for Advertisement and Promotion.

“The Commission expects total compliance with NCA, 2003, Regulations and the Terms and Conditions of Licences issued to MTN and will not hesitate to impose necessary sanctions where MTN flouts any provision of the foregoing regulatory instruments,” the Commission said in a statement, after lifting the suspension of regulatory services to MTN.

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