MTN Agrees to Pay $250m, Prefers Out of Court Settlement
MTN Nigeria has agreed to pay $250m to the Nigerian government, adding that the amount be applied towards a settlement of a dispute over a $3.9bn fine imposed on it by the Nigerian Communications Commission.
Nigeria’s Federal High Court adjourned the case on January 18 to enable the parties to try to settle the case out of court.
“Pursuant to the ongoing engagement with the Nigerian Authorities‚ MTN Nigeria has today made an agreed without prejudice good faith payment of 50 Billion Naira (USD250 million) to the Federal Government of Nigeria on the basis that this will be applied towards a settlement‚ where one is eventually‚ hopefully arrived at.
“In an effort to achieve an amicable settlement‚ MTN has agreed to withdraw the matter from the Federal High Court in Lagos‚” the company said on Wednesday.
It added that Phuthuma Nhleko in his capacity as Executive Chairman of MTN Group and a director of MTN Nigeria was continuing to lead the team engaging the Nigerian Authorities with a view to settling the matter.
The group advised shareholders to continue to exercise caution when dealing in the company’s securities until a further announcement was made.
The Nigerian Communications Commission initially imposed a $5.2bn fine on the mobile services provider for failing to register subscribers‚ as required by law‚ but later reduced the penalty.
However‚ MTN still challenged the fine in court as it was of the opinion that the size and the way it was imposed were not in accordance with the commission’s powers under the Nigerian Communications Act.