MTN, Africa’s biggest mobile phone operator, said on Thursday it plans to challenge a $3,9 billion fine imposed on it by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for failure to register subscribers on its network.
“MTN Nigeria acting on legal advice has resolved that the manner of the imposition of the fine and the quantum thereof is not in accordance with the NCC’s powers under the Nigerian Communications Act and therefore there are valid grounds upon which to challenge the fine,” the operator informed investors.
The mobile phone operator said it has followed due process and has instructed its lawyers to proceed with an action in the Federal High Court in Lagos seeking the appropriate reliefs.
MTN added that is advised that in the current circumstances in line with pending legal action the NCC is restrained from taking further action until the matter is finally determined.
“This is consistent with previous judicial decisions in Nigeria,” said MTN.
“Notwithstanding this action the company will continue to engage with the Nigerian Authorities to try and ensure an amicable resolution in the best interests of the company, its stakeholders and the Nigerian Authorities.”
MTN had until December 31 to pay the fine for failing to deactivate SIM cards that failed to meet Nigerian laws.
The debacle has resulted in MTN Nigeria’s CEO Michael Ikpoki and the head of Regulatory and Corporate Affairs Akinwale Goodluck to resign.
MTN Group CEO Sifiso Dabengwa also tendered his resignation.