Talks with the MTN on how to pay the N730 billion fine imposed on it are yet to start because of lack of key negotiation instruments, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, has said.
The NCC boss told Daily Trust yesterday, that though all key government agencies, including the NCC, had already made inputs into the proposals made by MTN to facilitate the negotiations, the inputs were yet to be fine-tuned for a formal negotiation to begin.
Prof Danbatta said the South African telco giant made a proposal on how to pay the fine in such way that it would not affect its business and its services to the Nigerian people.
The NCC fined the South African telco N1.4 trillion last October for regulatory infractions, but it was reduced to N780bn in December even as MTN went to court to challenge the fine.
It later withdrew the case and paid N50bn as down payment in February.
“Government is looking at the proposal. As I said I will not say now whether it is acceptable to government or not until negotiations have started and we have concluded it,” he said.
On whether MTN was willing to pay the remaining balance, the NCC boss believed “the body language of MTN does not indicate it will not pay or show unwillingness to pay.
“You know the most important thing is that they have withdrawn the case from the court and they have made a goodwill payment. These actions show that they are willing to pay and they are willing to resolve this matter amicably. And very soon it is going to be resolved.”