The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta has said Nigeria’s leading telecom operator, MTN, has paid N165 billion of its incurred fine so far as a result of breach to disconnect improperly registered SIM cards in October 2015.
Danbatta stated this on Monday when a delegation from MTN paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.
It would be recalled that NCC on October 20, 2015, imposed a fine of 1.04 trillion Naira on the MTN for failure to disconnect 5.1 million improperly registered lines within the prescribed deadline which was later reduced.
The fine was later reduced to N330 billion by the Federal Government to ensure the survival of MTN as a going concern.
Danbatta explained that the instalmental payment is in line with the terms of agreement reached between MTN and the regulatory body.
“It could be by share coincidence that part of the fine was paid in March not more than two weeks that we received the cheque of N55 billion. So far MTN has paid more than 50% of the fine and that will translate to N165 billion. Yes, it’s a whopping sum of money and they have not defaulted us yet, and this payment they are making is consistent with the terms of agreement we reached with them.
“Remember there was an amicable settlement agreement leading to the way and manner the fine is been paid in installments. So far they have not relented they are busy paying”, he said.
Danbatta said that the fine was aimed at ensuring that it is not business as usual but to ensure that the rules of engagements are respected, and the rules governing the telecom sector of the economy is adhered to, stressing that it will continue to cooperate with the telecom company because of its major contributions to the economic and digital growth of the nation’s economy.
Speaking earlier, Chairman MTN Nigeria, Paschal Dozie said Nigeria is one of the largest contributors to its market and that the visit was to cement the relationship between MTN and NCC, and to open up the ICT space the fastest way possible as well to appreciate the NCC for its support.