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Telecoms giant refuses to pay NCC fine

The Company made this known in a released to the public at about 8pm on New Year’s Eve, hours away from the deadline issued by the NCC for the payment of the fine

An MTN starter kit pack on display on a table at a retail stand in a file photo. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

According to various media reports, the management of MTN Nigeria has stated that it will not pay the N780 billion fine imposed on it by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The Company made this known in a released to the public at about 8pm on New Year’s Eve, hours away from the deadline issued by the NCC for the payment of the fine, according to a Punch report.

Mr. Funso Aina, public relations and protocol manager at MTN Nigeria, stated that when a case was in court, there is a limit to comments that could be made on the matter, in his response to a media enquiry sent by a Punch correspondent.

“Suffice it to say that based on the lis pendens rule (pending legal action), all parties are enjoined to restrain from taking further action until the matter is finally determined. This is consistent with previous judicial decisions in Nigeria,” Aina said.

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“We would continue to engage with the Nigerian authorities to try and ensure an amicable resolution in the best interest of the company, its stakeholders and the Nigerian authorities,” Aina added.

According to Nigerian CommunicationsWeek, a source at the NCC said, “MTN did not pay the fine before close of work today (yesterday) and so the Commission will take a fresh decision on the issue Monday.”

However, Mr. Victor Oluwadamilare, spokesman for the Minister of Communications, insists that MTN will have to pay the fine, according to the Nigeria CommunicationsWeek report.

“MTN has the right to seek the court’s interpretation if it feels unsatisfied with the action of the regulator but nothing would stop the government action on the fine,” He said.

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MTN was fined by the NCC for failing to disconnect about 5.1 million unregistered SIMs on its network despite repeated warnings by the NCC.

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