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MTN still in talks, Nigeria fine shelved for now

MTN has advised investors on Monday morning that the Nigerian Communications Commission has agreed not to impose a $5.2 billion fine on Africa’s largest mobile phone operator until talks have beeen completed. By Staff Writer

MTN Nigeria, which was fined for failing to deactivate SIM cards that were not complying with Nigerian laws, is still in talks with that country’s government.

The deadline set for the payment of the fine was today, November 16.

“Although the Nigerian Communications Commission set a deadline for payment of the fine by Monday, 16 November 2015, shareholders are advised that the Nigerian authorities have, without prejudice, agreed that the imposed fine will not be payable until the negotiations have been concluded,” MTN informed investors on the JSE.

The mobile phone operator said its executive chairman, Phuthuma Nhleko, has personally met with the Nigerian authorities to continue the ongoing discussions with them regarding thefine of N200,000 for each unregistered subscriber, the equivalent of $5.2 billion imposed on MTN Nigeria by the NCC.

“These discussions include matters of non-compliance and the remedial measures that may have to be adopted to address this. MTN is committed to resolving the matter together with the NCC as soon as possible and will continue to update stakeholders of any material developments regarding the fine.”

In the meantime, MTN’s biggest shareholder, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), has questioned the role of the board of directors of MTN over the $2.5 billlion Nigerian fine.

The PIC noted the resignation of MTN’s Group CEO, Sifiso Dabengwa, early this morning.

MTN announced last week on Monday that it has appointed its Phuthuma Nhleko as executive Chairman after Dabengwa resigned.

“Whilst the PIC acknowledges that Mr Dabengwa’s resignation is the noble thing to do in the current circumstances, the PIC is of the view that a lot more people need to take collective responsibility for the fine that was imposed on MTN Nigeria for alleged failure to comply with regulatory requirements in that country,” said the PIC.


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