By the end of October, 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. In a press release yesterday, MTN has advised its shareholders that, after further engagements with the Nigerian Authorities, the NCC has reduced the imposed fine. MTN has received a formal letter dated 2 December 2015 from the NCC informing the Company that, after considering the Company’s request, it has taken the decision to reduce the fine on the MTN Nigerian business from the original N1,040,000,000,000 (One Trillion, Forty Billion Naira) to N674 Billion Naira which has to be paid by 31 December 2015. The fine relates to the late disconnecting of 5.1 million MTN Nigerian subscribers in August and September 2015.
The Company is carefully considering the NCC’s reply, however the Executive Chairman Phuthuma Nhleko will immediately and urgently re-engage with the Nigerian Authorities before responding formally, as it is essential for the Company to follow due process to ensure the best outcome for the Company, its stakeholders and the Nigerian Authorities and accordingly all factors having a bearing on the situation will be thoroughly and carefully considered before the Company arrives at a final decision.
This comes at a time when the SIM card registration deadline imposed by the Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) passed and now the masses await for UCC’s next move and compliance by the telecoms to this directive.