The Nigerian Ministry of Communications has confirmed the payment of R3.8 billion (50 billion Naira or $250 million) by MTN Nigeria as part payment for the $3.9 billion fine imposed by the country’s communication watchdog, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), according to a media report. By Staff Writer.
Last year, the NCC imposed the fine on MTN Nigeria for its failure to disconnect 5.2 million subscribers who did not register their SIM cards.
On Wednesday, MTN informed investors that it has agreed a without prejudice a good faith payment of R3.8 billion (50 billion Naira or $250 million) to the Federal Government of Nigeria on the basis that this will be applied towards a final settlement.
The Nigerian Ministry of Communications late on Friday confirmed the $250 million payment by MTN.
Victor Oluwadamilare, the spokesperson to the Nigerian Minister of Communications, in a telephone interview with Nigeria’s PREMIUM TIMES, confirmed that the ministry has collected the payment from MTN on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“I can confirm to you that MTN Nigeria has paid the sum of N50 billion to the federal government as part payment for the fine,” Oluwadamilare told PREMIUM TIMES. “I am sure during the coming week; further negotiations would hold on the matter. MTN wants to negotiate with the federal government. As a listening administration, government is willing to listen.”
He also confirmed to the newspaper that the suit against NCC had been withdrawn by MTN to pave the way for further discussions.
Nigeria’s PREMIUM TIMES reported on Friday that it seems the Nigerian government had sidelined the NCC and strike a secret deal with MTN.
On Thursday, the NCC refuted MTN claims.
“We, NCC, are not privy to it (agreement to withdraw a case from court and pay $250 million by MTN). We do not have anything to do with it. We do not have any evidence of payment of any money to the Nigerian government,” Director of Public Affairs, NCC, Tony Ojobo, told the Vanguard newspaper.