No Plan To Reduce MTN Fine – NCC

Contrary to insinuations that the $5.2 billion fine imposed on MTN Nigeria by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), the regulatory body said it will not lower the amount for a company it accuses of routinely flouting regulations.
NCC spokesman, Tony Ojobo, said the fine was the second imposed on MTN in two months over the same infraction: A failure to deactivate unregistered cell phone SIM cards.
The controversy was caused by complaints by Nigeria’s law enforcement agencies that cell phones are used to activate bombs and coordinate other attacks by Boko Haram extremists as well as in kidnappings and armed robberies.
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However, investors have complained the fine is punitive and warned it could deter investment in Nigeria, but the regulator’s statement said: “sanctions are the last resort after all overtures fail but this does not in any way undermine industry standards and the interest of investors.”
Shares of South Africa-based MTN Group, Africa’s biggest telecommunications company, have slumped. CEO Sifiso Dabengwa resigned last week.
Despite the furor, the regulator this month extended MTN Nigeria’s operating license until 2021 for $94.2 million. Nigeria is the group’s most lucrative subsidiary.

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