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MTN May Not Get Fine Reduction

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The hope of getting a reduction in the payment of the N1.04 trillion ($5.2 billion) imposed on MTN has been dashed, as the Presidency has insisted that the erring telecoms company must pay the sanction imposed on it by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

New Telegraph gathered that Nigeria’s position followed series of meetings held with various Nigerian stakeholders by top management officials of MTN Group with a view to finding a ‘soft landing’ on the heavy sanction.

According to a Presidency source, who spoke with New Telegraph correspondent, in the meeting held be-tween MTN management team from South Africa and Nigeria with the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, there was no indication that MTN would be pardoned or be made to pay a reduced fine.

However, “there are plans that MTN Nigeria may stagger payment of the N1.04 trillion fine slammed on it. The telecom company has been given till November 16 to pay up the fines or face other sanctions from the Nigerian government,” the source said.

The presidency source, who confirmed that that this was part of the agreement reached at the series of meeting held on Thursday and Friday in Nigeria, said the government was not disposed to compromising after it has taken action on the initial imposition of the fine.

The source said: “There have been series of meetings at the Presidency between the Vice President, Prof. Osinbajo and MTN team both from South Africa and the Nigerian arm. The telecommunications firm 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.”

MTN Nigeria was recently sanctioned $5.2 billion by NCC for failing to comply with the country’s regulation SIM card deactivation, a case bordering on national security of the country.

New Telegraph Report

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