MTN Nigeria Plc has paid N55bn, which is the remaining balance of the N330bn SIM infraction fine imposed on the telecom company by the Federal Government.
Officials at the NCC and sources close to the mobile network operator confirmed this to our correspondent on Friday, saying the operator had met the May 31, 2019 deadline given by the regulatory body.
The sources said the NCC had issued a receipt to MTN on receiving the payment of N55bn, which is the sixth tranche of the N330bn fine.
A fine of N1.04tn was imposed on the network provider by the NCC in 2015 after it missed a deadline to disconnect 5.1 million unregistered lines amid a security threat in the country.
After several negotiations, the fine was reduced to N780bn in December 2015, and it was further reduced in June 2016 to N330bn, with its payment spread over three years.
As of March 2017, the company had already paid a total of N110bn of the N330bn fine.
The third tranche of the payment, which was N55bn was paid on March 31, 2018; N55bn on December 31, 2018; and another N55bn by March 31, 2019.
The NCC confirmed in a statement earlier this month that MTN had paid N275bn to the Federal Government.
Part of the fallout of the negotiated terms of payment of the fine was the listing of MTN on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, which was achieved as the company listed 20.35 billion shares at N90 per share on the NSE on May 16.
“Specifically, MTN began the payment structure with the payment of N30bn into NCC’s Treasury Single Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria 30 days from the date of the agreement dated June 10, 2016,” NCC had said.
“In the agreement reached by the parties involved, in a way to avoid a decision that is likely to cripple business interest of the operators the commission regulates, it was also agreed that MTN shall apologise to Nigerians, subscribe to the compulsory observance of Code of Corporate Governance for the telecom industry; as well as undertake immediate steps to ensure its listing on the NSE.”
Speaking on the state of MTN fine payment at the valedictory service organised for the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said the Commission had succeeded in empowering Nigerians “to control, manage and own telecommunications companies in Nigeria by owning shares in MTN Nigeria.”
Meanwhile, two weeks after listing on the NSE, MTN Nigeria Communications Plc on Friday posted its 2018 financial report in which it reported a revenue of N1.04tn for the year ended December 31, 2018.
A 17.2 per cent increase from N887bn earned in the corresponding period of 2017.