Fine: MTN Agrees to Pay $1.7 billion Over the Next 3 Years
Finally, South African telecoms giant, MTN said on Friday it will pay a $1.7 billion (about N330 billion) fine to the Nigerian government in a “full and final settlement” over raging N1.04 trillion fine which has become a subject of litigation.
The company made this known in a terse statement issued on Friday on the matter. The statement reads in part:
MTN Nigeria has agreed to pay a total cash amount of N330 billion over three years.
MTN is pleased to inform shareholders that the matter has been resolved with the Federal Government of Nigeria.
MTN executive chairman Phuthuma Nhleko “expresses his thanks and gratitude to (the Nigerian government) for the spirit in which the matter was resolved”.
It will be recalled that the NCC’s lawyer, Yusuf Alli, (SAN), upon the request for an out of course settlement by the telecoms company during the course of the matter affirmed to the court, “This is a commercial dispute involving money and in that light the plaintiff should make an undertaking”.
Similarly, considering MTN’s request for an out of court resolution, the Counsel to the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, Oladipo Opeseyi (SAN) also noted, “We are not by any means against settlement; it must be based in good faith.”
The company was fined $3.9 billion last year by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) over inability to trace the unregistered 5.1 million users in a country faced with kidnapping and terrorism.