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Monday, 29 February 2016

MTN’s N50bn payment is not final, says NCC

Contrary to suggestions that the N50 billion payment by MTN was the agreement reached with the federal government, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says it was just a step towards the resolution of negotiations over the N780 billion fine.
MTN on February 24 announced that it had made a “good faith” payment of N50 billion and withdrawn its court case ahead of negotiations with the federal government over the fine imposed on the telco for failing to deactivate 5.1 million unregistered SIM cards.
But NCC, in a statement released on Monday by Tony Ojobo, its director of public affairs, said the “receipt of the amount, and withdrawal of the suit is without prejudice to the final decision of government on the terms of payment being proposed by the company”.
The regulator said a team led by Abubakar Malami, the attorney-general of the federation, will review the conditions of the payment of the fine at a meeting with the MTN team led by Eric Holder, former US attorney-general.
Ojobo wrote: “The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, wishes to affirm Federal Government’s receipt of the Sum of N50,000,000,000 (Fifty Billion Naira Only), towards settlement of the fine imposed on MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd by the Commission, and its withdrawal of Suit No FHC/1923/2015 – MTN Vs. NCC & HAGF.
“The official information to the Commission to that effect, was received from the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, today, 29th February, 2016.
“The amount is an unconditional good faith payment, on the basis that this sum would be applied towards eventual settlement agreement for payment of the fine imposed by the Commission, where the ongoing negotiations between the Federal Government and the company reaches a final resolution.”

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