MTN Nigeria finally agrees to pay multi-million dollar SIM registration fine to regulator

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MTN Nigeria has agreed to pay a total cash amount of Naira 330 billion over three years (the equivalent of US$ 1.671 billion at the official exchange rate and US$902 million at the Lagos Parallel Market Rate) to the FGN in full and final settlement of the matter payable as set out hereunder. Further to the various announcements to shareholders regarding this matter, MTN is pleased to inform shareholders that the matter has been resolved with the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) on the following terms:

The Naira 50 billion paid in good faith and without prejudice by MTN Nigeria on 24 February 2016 forms part of the monetary component of the settlement leaving a balance of Naira 280 billion outstanding which will be discharged as follows:

Naira 30 billion on 8 July 2016

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Naira 30 billion on 31 March 2017

Naira 55 billion on 31 March 2018

Naira 55 billion on 31 December 2018

Naira 55 billion on 31 March 2019

Naira 55 billion on 31 May 2019

Shareholders are advised that they are no longer required to exercise caution when dealing with MTN

In addition to the monetary settlement set out above:-

  • MTN Nigeria subscribes to the voluntary observance of the Code of Corporate Governance for the Telecommunications Industry and will ensure compulsory compliance when the said Code is made mandatory for the Telecommunications Industry.
  • MTN Nigeria undertakes to take immediate steps to ensure the listing of its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange as soon as commercially and legally possible after the date of execution of the settlement agreement;
  • MTN Nigeria shall always ensure full compliance with its license terms and conditions as issued by Nigerian Communication Commission (“NCC”).

MTN Group Executive Chairman Phuthuma Nhleko said “he expresses his thanks and gratitude to the FGN for the spirit in which the matter was resolved and believes this is the best outcome for the Company, its stakeholders, the FGN and the Nigerian people and that the relationship between MTN, the FGN and the NCC has been restored and strengthened”. Accordingly, shareholders are advised that they are no longer required to exercise caution when dealing in the Company’s securities.
By the end of October last year, Nigerian communication regulator NCC had given MTN only two weeks to pay a fine of over $5.2 billion for failure to cut off millions of users with unregistered SIM cards. This hefty fine also led to the resignation of MTN CEO Sifiso Dabengwa. During that period, MTN had advised its  shareholders that, after further engagements with the Nigerian Authorities, the NCC has reduced the imposed fine to US$ 1.671 billion.