Friday, December 4, 2015

Nigeria Communication Commision Reduces $5.2bn Fine Slammed on MTN...See New Fine and Deadline for Payment

 After long negotiations and plea, the NCC has finally reduced the staggering $5.2bn imposed on MTN Nigeria for violation of sim card deactivation directive.
 
The Nigerian Communications Commission has reduced the $5.2bn slamed fine on giant telecommunications company MTN Nigeria to $3.4bn for flouting the regulatory body's directive on SIM deactivation.
 The Nigerian Communications Commission handed Africa's biggest mobile phone company the penalty in October after MTN failed to cut off users with unregistered SIM cards from its network.
Nigeria, MTN's biggest market, has been pushing telecoms firms to verify the identity of subscribers amid worries unregistered SIM cards were being used for criminal activity in a country facing the insurgency of Islamic militant group Boko Haram.
The fine, originally $5.2 billion, prompted MTN to hold talks with the NCC over the past five weeks seeking a reduction.
"After further engagements with the Nigerian authorities, the NCC has reduced the imposed fine," MTN said in statement. “After considering the company’s request, it has taken the decision to reduce the fine on the MTN Nigerian business from the original N1,040,000,000,000 to N674 billion which has to be paid by 31 December 2015,” the NCC said.
The company, which makes about 37 per cent of its sales from Nigeria, said it was considering the NCC's decision. "Executive Chairman Phuthuma Nhleko will immediately and urgently re-engage with the Nigerian authorities before responding formally," it said.
Nhleko, who took charge for up to six months after the abrupt resignation last month of Sifiso Dabengwa, led the company for nine years before stepping down in 2011.
Meanwhile, the MTN announced a shake-up of its senior management structure in an effort to strengthen oversight, governance and regulatory compliance across its operations in 22 countries in Africa and the Middle East. “MTN Nigeria’s CEO, Michael Ikpoki and the head of Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, Akinwale Goodluck, have tendered their resignations with immediate effect,” the company said in a statement on Thursday morning.
“They are replaced by Ferdi Moolman as MTN Nigeria CEO and Amina Oyagbola as its head of Regulatory and Corporate Affairs. Mr Moolman was previously COO at MTN Irancell and most recently CFO at MTN Nigeria. A Nigerian national, Ms Oyagbola also retains the position of MTN Nigeria’s Head of Human Resources. She formerly headed regulatory affairs at the Nigerian operating company.”
 Read below the mail MTN management sent to its staff
“The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) reduces imposed fine to US$3.4 billion equivalent and further cautionary announcement.Shareholders are advised that, after further engagements with the Nigerian Authorities, the NCC has reduced the imposed fine. MTN has received a formal letter dated 2 December 2015 from the NCC informing the Company that, after considering the Company’s request, it has taken the decision to reduce the fine on the MTN Nigeria business from the original N1,040,000,000,000 (One Trillion, Forty Billion Naira) to N674 Billion which has to be paid by 31 December 2015.The fine relates to the late disconnecting of 5.1 million MTN Nigeria subscribers in August and September 2015. The Company is carefully considering the NCC’s reply, however the Executive Chairman Phuthuma Nhleko will immediately and urgently re-engage with the Nigerian Authorities before responding formally, as it is essential for the Company to follow due process to ensure the best outcome for the Company, its stakeholders and the Nigerian Authorities and accordingly all factors having a bearing on the situation will be thoroughly and carefully considered before the Company arrives at a final decision.Shareholders are therefore advised to continue to exercise caution when dealing in the Company’s securities until a further announcement is made. As we committed to you previously, and in the spirit of our Vital Behaviour of Complete Candour, we will keep you updated as the matter unfolds. As we enter the busy year-end period in our business, I encourage you to continue focusing on our customers and strive to keep our promise to provide the bold, new Digital World to them.
 
Regards,
Phuthuma


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