Africa’s largest mobile phone operator MTN and the Federal Government of Nigeria have reached an agreement over a $3.9 billion fine imposed by the country’s regulator. By Gugu Lourie
MTN informed investors on Friday that the dispute has been resolved with the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN).
MTN Nigeria has agreed to pay an equivalent of R23.9 billion (Naira 330 billion over three years or $1.671 billion) at the official exchange rate or $902 million (R13.5 billion) at the Lagos Parallel Market Rate.
The mobile phone operator said the R3.8 billion (Naira 50 billion) paid in good faith and without prejudice by MTN Nigeria on 24 February 2016 forms part of the monetary component of the settlement leaving a balance of Naira 280 billion outstanding.
The Naira 260 billion outstanding will be paid of as follows – Naira 30 billion on 8 July 2016, Naira 30 billion on 31 March 2017, Naira 55 billion on 31 March 2018, Naira 55 billion on 31 December 2018, Naira 55 billion on 31 March 2019 and Naira 55 billion on 31 May 2019.
MTN Group Executive Chairman Phuthuma Nhleko expresses his thanks and gratitude to the FGN for the spirit in which the matter was resolved and believes “this is the best outcome for the Company, its stakeholders, the FGN and the Nigerian people and that the relationship between MTN, the FGN and the NCC has been restored and strengthened”.
Furthermore, MTN Nigeria has undertaken to take immediate steps to ensure the listing of its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange as soon as commercially and legally possible after the date of execution of the settlement agreement.